Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Food Technology, which was not something I had planned on before. After being introduced to the wide world of food science, I became particularly interested in food safety and it's impact on the food industry. I have also completed my undergraduate research in the field of food microbiology and the use of natural antimicrobials. This strengthened my decision in pursuing food science further. I have always wanted to study as much as I can in order to be my best-self in my career, and pursuing a graduate degree was a big step towards achieving that objective. A professional graduate degree such as Master of Food Science program seemed like the best way to go, as it prepares you for the real world by introducing you to real-world situations and provides an opportunity to work in the industry as a part of the practicum. This is a great practice before we actually enter the food industry. I strongly feel that this experience will help me make a significant contribution to the society.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC, undoubtedly, is one of the best universities worldwide. I had heard a lot about UBC from my professors and peers. UBC is known for its diversity, research facilities and academic opportunities. The reviews from people as well as the experiences of graduate students at UBC solidified my decision to pursue a graduate degree here. Moreover, I was particularly attracted to Vancouver as it is one of the most beautiful places to live in!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The 3.5-month practicum is the main attraction for this program. It provides us an opportunity to work in real companies and get hands-on experience in the various aspects of the industry. It also provides opportunities to build a network which is very essential in one's career. Through this experience, I hope to build a strong foundation in my work skills before entering the real world.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was particularly surprised by the nature of the people at Vancouver. Everyone is extremely welcoming and accommodating. The place is beautiful! The university is full of opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life. I hope to build some great connections through my experience at UBC.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I enjoy the interactive classroom sessions. All the instructors are very friendly and make learning a really fun experience. Everyone is extremely helpful. I am really looking forward to the practicum experience.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
My biggest challenge would be learning how to build connections. This is something I have struggled with in the past. However, I am confident that my experience at UBC will prepare me for any challenges I may face in the future.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My undergraduate degree was an international program where I interacted with people from different backgrounds. This has prepared me to appreciate the diversity at UBC. My background in the different disciplines of food science has also equipped me with basic knowledge required to go through my graduate experience smoothly.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to sing and listen to music! Being a food science student, it is no surprise that I am a big foodie and love to try out new places.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
The one thing I would like to tell all new graduate students is - relax! It may seem like you don't have all the answers right now. We all go through a confused phase where we don't know what we are meant to do. Take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Interact with as many people as you can and build meaningful relationships. Do not hesitate to ask questions whenever you find yourself stuck in any situation. You will figure out your purpose in life as you go. In short, work hard and enjoy the ride!