We spoke to a few of our outstanding students from the spring Class of 2023. We look forward to keeping up with these students, post-UBC, as we know they have a bright future ahead!
Julia Taylor (BSc in Global Resource Systems)
How did LFS match your personal and/or professional interests?
This Faculty, and my program especially, gave me the chance to develop existing interests as well as discover new ones through the course of my winding journey of exploring courses and changing my mind a million times during my degree–ultimately landing me in a place where I feel well-rounded and as though I’ve gained a wider and deeper understanding of the world at large. I feel lucky to have found deep passions for real-life issues through my studies in LFS, such as biodiversity conservation, agricultural sustainability, and local food systems, that I am excited to continue to pursue in my career.
There are so many favourite classes to choose from, but APBI 214 and APBI 398 are a close tie! In APBI 214 (Animal Sheltering and Companion Animal Support Services), I had so many lightbulb moments during lectures that made me realize my passion and curiosity for the course material. In APBI 398 (Research Methods in Applied Biology), I could apply my newfound knowledge of animal sheltering and One Welfare in a research assistant role, eventually leading to the opportunity to present at two conferences!
Christopher Mulya (BSc in Food, Nutrition and Health)
Major: Food Science
What challenges did you encounter while a student and how did you overcome them?
Balancing coursework, lab work, assignments, part-time jobs, and extracurricular activities can be demanding. I managed to overcome this by applying effective time management skills, such as creating a schedule, prioritizing tasks, and avoiding procrastination, which helped me track and reduce stress. I also found it helpful to delegate tasks and seek support from classmates or professors when needed.
I heard about LFS from a friend who started at UBC one year before I began applying to universities. I was looking for a program that combined my interests in science with business and economics, and they suggested I look into the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. I found the Food and Resource Economics Program on the LFS website, which fit what I was looking for!
What is the next step for you? Do you have plans post-graduation?
Post-graduation I will be taking a break to travel to Guatemala with some friends. Then I’ll return in June to Vancouver to work as a Food Security Project Assistant with United Way British Columbia, focusing on the programming and implementation of United Way’s Regional Community Food Hubs.
Come September I will hopefully be traveling to the city of Taipei to attend the Mandarin Training Center at National Taiwan Normal University. This would mark the beginning of a 9–12-month journey of language learning and cultural immersion in Taiwan, complementing my minor in Chinese language.
Although I am currently waiting to hear back from my application to the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship, which is a scholarship from the Taiwanese government to foreign students who seek to dedicate themselves to learning Mandarin. I should hear back from them by the end of the month! After that, I remain open minded although a master’s in public health is certainly a strong possibility.
What challenges did you encounter while being a student and how did you overcome them?
One challenge that I encountered as a student was trying to manage my time, especially since I had a long commute to campus from Surrey. I overcame this challenge by testing out different time management strategies. What really helped me was making time blocks in my schedule for specific tasks in my to-do list and prioritizing tasks based on both urgency and importance. I also found that completing most of these tasks on campus allowed me to leave campus at later times of the day and actually made my commute time shorter as I avoided rush hour traffic.
Do you recommend students get involved in extra-curriculars? What did you do outside of the classroom?
YES! Getting involved in extracurriculars enriches your university experience, nurtures your interests and challenges you to grow as an individual. In my first year, I volunteered as a gardener with Roots on the Roof which led me to later volunteer as Yard Garden Harvest farmer with the Little Mountain Neighbourhood House.
I was able to enjoy taking a break from classes through getting my hands in soil and growing food! As someone who is interested in social welfare, I have also volunteered with various organizations within Vancouver such as Indian Summer Arts Society, Covenant House Vancouver, Ignite the Warmth Society, BC SPCA to mention but a few. In these various volunteer opportunities, I had the opportunity to build long lasting connections and lifelong skills.
I also worked as a first-year Residence Advisor for two years where I helped multiple students residing on campus in their transition to UBC. In addition, I worked as an LFS Student Ambassador which is a Work-Learn role within LFS Student Services. I was able to leverage my skills in both my volunteer and work position, which would have not been possible if I was not trying new things. I have grown my network through my extracurricular roles and have developed professional skills which I am currently using as a young professional.