Uchechukwu (Uche) Enwerem (MFS 2020)
Food Safety and Quality Assurance Specialist
Farm Boy Inc., Mississauga, Ontario
Why did you chose to come to UBC and study in the Master of Food Science program?
I knew the opportunity to study in my area of interest at a top university, and live in a multi-cultural city would help me come out of my shell and make me a whole person. I have an undergraduate biochemistry degree and had been working at a food company in Nigeria before coming to Canada. Personally, I had also seen many instances of my own family in Nigeria being hospitalized because of food poisoning, and I know the standards in Canada are very high.
Did you have a role model or would you describe yourself as a trailblazer?
My older brother was my role model – he went to university while I was in secondary school and he was a first-class student. Back then, I wrote a diary about what I wanted to achieve and, like him, I wanted to be first-class student in university. Also, I want to make sure I leave a footprint every place that I find myself. In the MFS program, I graduated with the highest GPA and earned an exit scholarship.
What do you hope to achieve in your career?
Once I have more experience in the food production industry in Canada, I would eventually like to go back to Nigeria and improve the food supply chain. I want to create and implement policies to raise the safety standards in food production.
What piece of advice would you have found useful when you were younger?
When I was young, I had difficulty in school – I was not a good student. My dad believed in me and always told me that if I put my mind into it, I can be successful. If I went back, I would trust myself more and put my mind into things and give it my best. When things are difficult and you give up, you are robbing yourself of reaching your full potential.
What do you see as the greatest obstacle or challenge in your future career?
I am very driven in my career and I also love my family. My challenge is making sure that one part of my life doesn’t suffer because of the other part. I want to try to balance my family and my career, which I know will be hard.