|Program||Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition, and Health|
|Hometown||Richmond, BC, Canada|
Valerie Leung is a third-year undergraduate student in the Dietetics major. She has been an active student leader in the Faculty as a member of the LFS Undergraduate Society, a Senior Orientation Leader and as a Work Learn student with LFS Student Services. Valerie reports that getting involved is a great way to build connections and build new skills. Read on to learn more!
What are three adjectives that describe you?
Creative, positive, passionate
When you first started at UBC, what resources, people or events helped you to feel welcome and supported?
It was a mixture of feelings. On one hand, I was very excited to see what LFS had to offer in terms of student leadership and career opportunities. On the other, I was the only person in my high school friend group who joined this Faculty. Being a commuter student, I was concerned about making meaningful connections with my peers. Attending Imagine Day, held the first week in September, was essential in meeting fellow LFS-ers and making new friends. Another event that really helped me make friends was LFS Firsts, a two-day camp held every September for first-year LFS students. Here, I went from simply witnessing the welcoming spirit of LFS to fully participating in this amazing community. I met LFS peers that are still my best friends today!
What advice would you give to a high school student considering a program in LFS?
Know what matters to you and your undergrad journey - for me, it was finding a sense of community. I was first drawn to the deep sense of community in LFS by attending UBC Welcomes You, a springtime event held for newly-admitted students. As I began my studies in LFS, I soon discovered so much more than that. This Faculty has provided many valuable academic and career opportunities by challenging me to think with an interdisciplinary perspective. Through unique LFS-based collaborative opportunities, I have been able to practice that mindset in real-life settings within the local community. LFS has opened up my perspectives of what I can accomplish in my career after UBC.
How have your extracurricular experiences prepared you for life after graduation?
Being a part of the LFS Undergraduate Society (LFS|US) has transformed my interpersonal and communication skills, two important aspects of virtually any career. The versatility of the skills that I’ve gained from this experience has already opened more doors to internship and work opportunities, and it motivates me to invest further into my career development.
Participating in the LFS Mentorship Program for the past two years has helped me gain a lot more confidence being an undergraduate student trying to navigate what to do after my time in LFS. I've gone from being a nervous junior mentee that didn’t know what an accomplishment statement was, to being a senior mentee now with a better vision of my strengths and an elevator pitch ready at all times. I feel more confident networking with mentors and professionals in my field, and sharing with people why I am passionate about the career I want to be in!
What advice would you give a student who is about to embark on their own UBC journey?
University is more than lectures, projects, and papers. Have fun exploring it all! I experimented with food photography for the first time in university, joined a foodie magazine chapter at UBC, and went to a coffee tasting event as a media correspondent!
Sign up for events like Storm the Wall, Faculty Cup and Day of the Longboat – don’t be afraid to try new things! Participating in events like these, along with Jump Start and Imagine Day, will prepare you for new experiences and make your time in LFS unforgettable.
Interested in studying in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems? Learn more here!