Class of 2023: Lian Boltwood (BSc Global Resource Systems)
How did LFS match your personal and/or professional interests?
In 2018, I actually applied to UBC and was admitted through the UBC School of Engineering. However, upon discovering LFS, I felt a stronger sense of connection with the focus of study. Having developed a passion for health, nutrition, and sustainable food systems during my high school years, I made the decision to switch faculties before the commencement of classes.
Upon entering UBC, it became evident that LFS was a perfect fit for my personal and professional interests in sustainable food systems, nutrition, and public health. Later on, when I enrolled in the Global Resource Systems program, I had the opportunity to foster my sense of global citizenship. It allowed me to establish meaningful connections within a close-knit community, gain valuable professional experience, and embrace the idea that my career interests can evolve and grow over time. This experience has made me more confident in exploring new possibilities and embracing change in my professional journey.
Do you recommend students get involved in extra-curriculars? What did you do outside of the classroom?
Absolutely! I would recommend that students intentionally engage in a diversity of extracurriculars. For example, joining a small club and a large campus organization to experience the range of what UBC has to offer.
I also find it important to have extracurriculars that are not just focused on academics or professional development but bring joy, rejuvenation, and creativity. When the semester gets stressful, it can become very hard to make time for anything but studying and working. But life is a balancing act, and in the long run, prioritizing that rock climbing session, intramural soccer game, or painting session helped prevent burnout and give you more energy to keep going. These experience not only enhance your personal growth but also provide valuable perspectives and insights that can complement your academic pursuits.
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 advice do you have for students?
My advice for students is to try to overcome hesitation about reaching out to individuals who captivate your interest. UBC is teeming with people engaging in interesting projects, both in their personal lives and professional pursuits. Despite the initial intimidation, don’t hesitate to connect with someone who caught your attention, whether it’s a participant in a case competition you admire, a professor from a different department, or even someone you discovered on a UBC Club Instagram page. You’ll find that most individuals are eager to discuss their experiences and provide valuable insights.