Drake Mboowa

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How Can We Better Predict the Hydrolytic Potential of Cellulase Enzyme Mixtures on Model and Realistic Lignocellulosic Substrates?
John Saddler
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I opted for UBC for my graduate degree because I wanted to study at a university that is ranked in the top 35th position in the world. This was coupled by availability of funding and a supervisor who took me on as his student. Jack Saddler is one of the greatest professors in the field of bioenergy/ biotechnology and I am honored to be working with his lab. He happens to be the sole reason that made me choose UBC.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

First and foremost, I chose UBC for my graduate studies because I anticipated that it will provide me with a platform to expose my brilliance on an international level. Then I wanted to add a remarkable experience to my career whereby you start a totally new different life on a foreign soil, meet and make new friends and future potential employers from all over the world.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The first surprise that I got upon arriving at UBC was that professors prefer to be called by their names rather than titles (Prof.). At my former University, any attempt to address any professor by their names without adding the title (Prof.) can be tantamount to failure of that Professor’s course and to the extreme not graduating. As for life in Vancouver, I appreciate the organization of the city and the fact that there is always lots of stuff to do. On one weekend you can go to beaches, shopping, dinners, breweries, hiking, street festivals and parades, movies and concerts.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I enjoy the fact that I have had to develop my own research with my supervisor just giving me guidance on how to further my research. The other aspect that I enjoy most is the independence that I have to choose and register for the courses that I feel can help me write my thesis which was not the case during my undergraduate.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I was lucky to have done a research thesis at my undergraduate. I got involved in doing lab work, collecting data from the field, analyzing the data using ANOVA and SPP, writing my thesis with referencing tools such as endnote and Mendeley. I was also able to get two publications from the thesis which I feel best prepared me for graduate school.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Outdoor games: soccer, beach volley ball, jogging, swimming, biking most especially to Stanley Park and around the sea wall.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Find out which courses you need to take to accomplish your degree and help you with your research. Stay up to date with news about scholarships, training workshops, seminars, jobs and any other related info around faculty of forestry through weekly emails, forestry website, social media (@ubcforestry).


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