Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
My undaunted passion and interest in Environmental Science have overtime influenced my aspirations and triggered my interest to study Applied Geology at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria. As an undergraduate, my passion to explore the earth as a repository for unlimited resources silently found expression; this was clearly evident from my results as I graduated top of my class with first-class honors. I decided to enroll for the Master of Land and Water Systems program at the University of British Columbia because I wanted to build upon the knowledge I acquired in the course of the undergraduate training program in Applied Geology.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I was interested in UBC because of its culture of international integration as well as its enviable position among universities in the world. UBC is consistently ranked among the best 20 public universities in the world and that is an irresistible attraction for a fan of a good education like me. I had a few friends who were studying at UBC as at the time I was looking for a school to enroll for a graduate degree and “learning at UBC is great” was their common testimony. As retrieved from the University's website then, UBC had produced prominent alumni which include Prime Ministers, great scholars, Nobel Prize winners, etc. This translates to the fact that UBC breeds world leaders and I wanted to be one also.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My long-term career and personal goals revolve around achieving a more sustainable environment in the Southwest, Nigeria. The geometric increase in the population of the region had led to a proportionate increase in the demand for land and water resources. However, various industrial activities have the tendencies of contaminating and/or degrading the environment. I, therefore, required such an interdisciplinary professional program like the Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) at UBC to learn about the interconnection between land use (especially mineral extraction and processing and urban development) and water management to mitigate against and tackle problems of land degradation and environmental contamination thereby creating a healthy ecosystem. These were clearly written on the program website and they attracted me.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The First Nations! I grew up learning about the minority group of people in my home country, Nigeria. I had thought that this kind of history exits only in Africa. To my surprise, I learned about the First Nations on the very day I got to Vancouver, and I've been hearing about them almost every day! The second thing is the weather, I was getting ready for the "Canada Cold" until I got here.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
The major project
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
1. My passion for environmental science and environmental sustainability 2. My determination to excel, come what may.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Playing table tennis (ping-pong) and watching soccer (football) games.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Emotional Intelligence. Please learn how to handle your own emotions so as to maintain good mental health. I experienced a rude shock when I started my program at UBC; the intensity, the pace, and the rigor were all second to none.