Akshaya Akshu, Masters of Food Science, Student Award Recipient
Prior to joining the Masters of Food Science program (MFS) in LFS, Akshaya Akshu who was born in raised in India, studied with a focus around food technology that was considered an odd field by most there. Inspired to help aid India’s solutions to a more sustainable food system that can reduce waste and increase food security through enhancing processing, she searched for the best food technology program. With a lack of mentors and no other food technologists to aspire towards, Akshaya took an active effort in her own learning in her undergrad to get hands on experience with processing, food safety, packaging, shelf life, and a passion for food chemistry.
Moving from India to Vancouver was the first time she lived alone and she exudes positivity around the challenges that provide further learning outside the classroom. Learning a lot about different people and different cultures, and the different ways of thinking that you become exposed to and that shape you. Amazed at how, “she didn’t expect to meet people you’re your own wavelength from different cultures”, she’s so grateful for the ability to gain independence and discover herself through her time studying here. Appreciative of how easy it was for her to adjust with all of the support from UBC, her fellow students, and professors.
She describes LFS as professional, friendly, dedicated and up-to-date. She highlights how the faculty is hands on in staying relevant on current issues and advances and the learning style if very hands on and accompanied by passionate staff and professors to help students grow into the perfect job for them. Akshaya also reflect on how important it was that teachers taught her how to learn in a way that went beyond memorization and instead encouraged learning from a place of inspiration. Her advice to potential students of course include appreciating the library as well as utilizing the resources on campus over all. Connecting with professors and peers to gain varying perspectives helps further awareness and success as a student.
The significance of student support is clear in Akshaya’s experience. It has given her a lot of confidence in herself and in her ability to make a difference through her studies. She also highlights how important it is for supporters to recognize students beyond grades to help further the goals of students who think outside the box, people with big ideas and ideas, as it is important for those people to get boost and have that confidence to pursue their dreams.
Akshaya is currently working at Paradise Island Foods as a Food safety and HACCP coordinator.