Shaoxuan Ren

Conversion of carbon dioxide into chemicals and fuels in a flow reactor
Curtis Berlinguette
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Graduate studies are an important part of an ongoing research process that helps us to better understand the human and natural world in which we exist. Although I obtained coursework knowledge in my undergraduate, I could get invaluable research experience at graduate school that would advance professional growth in my career.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

As one of the best universities in the world, UBC has many world-leading faculties and researchers whom I can learn from and work with. UBC also provides great research facilities that are useful tools for my research.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Department of Chemistry at UBC provides an outstanding platform for graduate students to discuss and ignite new ideas by inviting renowned scientists in the world to UBC to give lectures and talks. The conversion with these researchers from diverse fields cultivated the skills to see problems from fresh perspectives.

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

The intentional celebration of Indigenous culture visually, and through the curricular on campus, was enlightening and humbling to be immersed in daily. I also was incredibly moved by the inclusion of all people no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. The openness of the university to welcome everyone was a monumental shift in my understanding of how to be a better human being.

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

I have always had the ambition to aspire for the best possible results. Looking for cutting-edge results has been a passion and point of interest for me. Naturally, through my academic work, I have been able to see the fruits of this labor become actualized. I continue to strive every day to be my best self whether that is academically, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. This relentless pursuit of greatness has to lead me to be aptly prepared for the UBC graduate program, as I know I have the skills necessary to succeed.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Living in the Lower Mainland affords me many privileges due to the abundance of nature we have that surrounds us. Examples of what I like to do out in nature are hiking, swimming, road trips, canoeing, and running. I am also interested in the performing arts, more specifically musicals.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

My advice for new graduate students is to learn how to make plans for themselves. The first step of making a plan is making goals. These goals can be daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. For long-term goals, remember to retrospect so you can examine the progress.


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