“UBC has a lot of programs to support Indigenous students and they are working to better integrate Indigenous views in engineering. I’m excited about these changes.”
- Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
- Campus: Vancouver
Year: 4th Year
Has your experience as an engineering student been different from or similar to what you thought it would be like?
Coming into the program, I had expected a lot of physics, math and group work – and foundation year definitely has all those components! I was surprised by the amount of group work in first year as you work on design challenges. In APSC 101, my group won the design challenge on water treatment – we spent a lot of time on it and ended up coming in first place out of 170 students, so that was awesome. The technical writing classes were very helpful and relevant in my co-op jobs. The foundation year program really sets you up well.
What new skills do you think you’ve developed as an engineering student?
My time management skills have definitely improved. It’s really important to find the motivation to do the work during the day and not put it off for last minute. I’ve also developed my communication skills, which are important for group work.
Why did you want to do co-op?
Being part of co-op was one of my primary goals in coming to university. I always knew I wanted to get hands-on work experience, which is different than what you learn in your classes. Co-op has enabled me to work on some cool projects, gain new skills and have a more well-rounded experience.
Have your engineering classes prepared you to succeed in this co-op job?
Definitely – particularly the content in some of the more geology-based courses. The technical writing skills I developed in the first two years have translated very well to the actual work I do, and the communication and teamwork skills I’ve developed are really important to my role.
What kinds of impact and contributions would you like to make in your field?
I might be interested in doing geohazard or mitigation work to contribute to climate change management and environmental issues. We see lots of extreme weather relate to climate change, like hurricanes, floods and landslides, so mitigating the impact of that on infrastructure and communities is very relevant.
Any tips for new students?
For your arts electives, I highly recommend you choose arts electives you are interested in. Lots of people choose a class they think will boost their GPA and end up being miserable. Electives are a nice break from math and STEM courses. I took archaeology, which ended up being one of my favourite courses ever, and I also took a course on gender, sexuality and social justice where I learned so much.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to ask for help and meet new people.
Talk to people in your groups and classes and try and start a study group. If you’re struggling, go to office hours, talk to your prof and ask for extra help. It’s a supportive experience! Also, the more you go through your undergraduate degree, you learn working with others is a lot nicer than doing it all on your own.