Jane Yuexian Wang

University of British Columbia
Programmer / Analyst
Hebei, China
Vancouver, Canada

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

I analyse geospatial data for mill sites and forested areas, develop and program analysis tools, and perform quality assurance of geospatial data products.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

My current work builds on the skills I practiced and gained through the professional training. I am equipped with project-management, analytical, and communication skills that are beneficial for my career.

What do you like and what do you find challenging about your current position?

In a production-based work environment, it is crucial to prioritize tasks and practice time-management in order to meet project deadlines.

Is your current career path as you originally intended?

Yes - I had a general idea of combining my analytical / programming and creative skills for my job.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

I am passionate about my undergraduate degree in Geographical Sciences and wished to continue my studies. The MGEM program at UBC is a great fit combining research and technical training that is beneficial for career paths in academia and industry.

What did you enjoy the most about your time as a graduate student at UBC?

I enjoyed communicating and interacting with like-minded peers. It is inspirational to hear about the diverse projects that each person is working on. We not only had great collaborations in school projects but had some of the most wonderful times outside of the classrooms as friends.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

I valued work ethics and the can-do attitude. I was willing to take any position that was a positive contribution to my professional development and sometimes went the extra mile to learn and experiment (within appropriate extent) for self-growth. I have also sought insight from my peers outside of my profession due to the multi-disciplinary nature of my job.

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

I would like to encourage graduate students to pursue their passion and seize every opportunity to interact with the professionals with career paths that interest them. Showing your strong interest and willingness to learn goes a long way and you will be surprised where your efforts can lead you.

Did you have any breaks in your education?

I did not have breaks although I was involved in the Co-Operative Education program working off-campus for a year in my undergraduate degree, which was beneficial career-wise.

What challenges did you face in your graduate degree, or in launching your career?

My academic pursuits in the Sciences and Liberal Arts (with a minor in Visual Arts) sometimes posed a challenge on situating myself within the academic and professional scopes. I have come to the realization that instead of limiting my practice in either field, my combined skills can be a great addition to the tasks that I am in charge of. Looking back, I would stress less about wondering where my skills take me, but to develop at the fullest extent and be confident that they will land in good places.


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