Brittany Myhal, Masters of Land and Water Systems
Prior to joining the Master of Land and Water Systems program (MLWS) in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Brittany completed her undergraduate degree in Nanaimo. Realizing that her biology degree was overall very general, she searched for a specialized program to excel in and launch her career from. She found the perfect fit in the MLWS program, which combined her interests in soil science, water shed management and resource conservation.
The intensive and expensive nature of the program makes student support vital. Brittany reflects that she was unaware of student support as a potential avenue for her to focus more on her studies than work and that an award would have made a huge difference in her studies. Having delayed her studies for two years to save up, as well working part-time during the Program, Brittany sees the importance of accessing opportunities to receive awards and support.
Overcoming the challenges by dedicating herself to her studies, she expresses how meaningful it was to have the academic and emotional support from professors who she says, “genuinely cared how well you were doing academically and personally, reminding me that if my personal life isn’t going well it can impact my studies.” She was pleasantly surprised to receive that level of care in a large institution such as UBC. The opportunity to complete a substantial project that was a hands-on project on “Food Security Concerns and Challenges of First Nations Communities in the Interior of BC”. This project was a big accomplishment and has excelled her learning, made a different in the community and in her ability to find work in her field.
As a compassionate, driven, and independent individual, Brittany has made the most of her time in LFS. Her advice to prospective students is to start applying for jobs sooner than graduation and to really focus on your major project. She advices that, “what you put in is what you get out as it. It is a very self-directed program, so engage with your professors and go on the field trips, if you want to get out of it the most you possibly can”.
She describes LFS as a community that is involved, dedicated, genuine, compassionate and understanding. She emphasizes the importance of the community saying that, “the quality of your experience is so high through the relationships you form with the students and teachers and the quality of the academic experience exceeded my expectations, the environment here is really great and positive and it is a very inspiring place to learn.”
Brittany found a job right after graduating from the Master of Land and Water Systems professional program. She is applying her gained knowledge and skills in her current position at BC Hydro as a Natural Resource Specialist.