Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Pursuing a graduate degree was a decision I made without hesitation, I decided to pursue a graduate degree to acquire skills in new technologies and methods that have been developed in the field of forest measurements and biometrics. Decision-making in forest resource management requires accurate information obtained using the best practices with advanced data computational techniques which will help to promote sustainable forest management especially in decision and policymaking with regards to natural resources. In other to achieve my goal of being a proficient data analyst and biometrician in the field of forestry, I decided to pursue a graduate degree in forest biometrics.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC when I discovered the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program that fully supports students from Africa to have their graduate study at UBC. Coupled with the fact that I was able to secure the interest of a faculty member who specializes in the exact field of forestry that I admire which is forest biometrics gave me enough motivation to apply for the scholarship which I eventually got being one of the 23 selected candidates from over 4000 applicants.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Specifically, the availability of faculty members that specializes in Forest Biometrics and Measurements attracted me to apply for a research master's in the Faculty of Forestry, UBC. UBC offers so many resources that will help students to succeed in their program and the Faculty of Forestry provides a learning and research platform formed by a combined theoretical and experimental approach, backed by well equipped experimental and computational facilities. This has strongly encouraged me to study at UBC Forestry.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about UBC is the diversity of culture and the number of international students coming from different parts of the world. This is quite fascinating as I already feel like I know quite a number of things about different cultures and countries I have never been to. The other surprise is the various resources and support available to students to make them comfortable with learning. Also, The presence of different beautiful scenes like beaches, parks, museums in Vancouver is another surprise that makes this beautiful city fun to live in.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
At the moment, I am enjoying every aspect of my graduate program, most especially the statistics and modelling courses, the teaching assistantship experience, the different trainings and workshops organized by UBC CTLT. This has been a learning process so far and an avenue to further develop my skills in every area needed. I am looking forward to the research aspect of my graduate program, most especially the data collection, computation and analysis. I am particularly looking forward to the results of my research and its potential application for a sustainable natural resource.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Prior to the commencement of my program at UBC, I was living in Nigeria where I was a Graduate Research Assistant at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Resource Management, University of Calabar, Cross River State. During my time at the department, I worked with the final year undergraduate student in guiding them through their project works and also maintained an atmosphere of academic learning and advancement to facilitate learning and development of critical thinking skills in the course i was assigned. Also, working on my undergraduate project gave me the opportunity to learn about research and scientific writing and I was able to publish this and some other projects I worked on. I have also had training and internships in various institutes such as the Centre for Space Research and Application, Federal University of Technology Akure, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan, while in Nigeria. These experiences have best prepared me for my UBC graduate program.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
When I am not in class or lab, I like to play ping pong (table tennis), watch football games, play soccer, watch movies, hang out with friends, go to the beach, or cycling in the woods.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My advice for new graduate students would be to take advantage of the amazing resources and support available for students on campus and to maximize every opportunity that comes in form of training and workshops. The UBC CTLT has amazing events and workshops that the new graduate students should take advantage of.