Perhaps one of my favorite assignments for the AVID 11 students is for them to conduct an interview with someone who works in a career area the student is curious about for their own future. The students openly share how positive an experience it was for them. Some students express feelings of accomplishment for having conducted a successful cold-call, and others have great experiences learning more about what a relative does for a living and about the sometimes arduous path that got them to where they are in life. A few students even manage to make valuable connections, even landing a part-time job as a result of the exercise.
The interview I am posting has one of the AVID 11 students interview his brother, who I got a chance to know better when he came into AVID for his final year in high school. I appreciated the younger brother's approach to the assignment in that whatever he decides on for a career (accepting the fact he may change his mind many times), he will first be a post-secondary student. It was more relevant and meaningful to him to explore this important stage in his future.
Name: Adam (My brother)
Occupation: Full-time Student at the University of British Columbia
Means of Communication: Via Skype
Time of Interview: January 27, 2014
Q: What school have you chosen to go to? What experiences lead you to pursue this school?
A: I learned a lot about UBC through different ways, I visited campus on tours from school, I researched about it online, and when I had made my decision about dedicating myself
to the school, I had an excellent experience during the introduction for first years called “Destination UBC”. Destination was basically an on-campus tour of the school, introducing
myself and my classmates to the UBC experience.
I chose this school because I saw a future for me in engineering, and there was a lot of programs and activities that I could see myself enjoying, including the UBC League of Legends club, the recreational futsal team, the UBC lacrosse team, and the variety of engineering courses.
Q: What program have you enrolled yourself in? What caused you to choose this program?
A: This is a list of the courses that I have enrolled in this semester, concerning Applied sciences/engineering:
-Physics 170 (Mechanics and 3D Kinematics)
-Physics 153 (Thermodynamics and electromagnetism)
-Math 100 (Differential Calculus)
-Math 101 (Integral Calculus)
-Math 152 (Linear systems)
-CHEM 154 (Chemistry)
-APSC 160 (Introduction to Computation in Engineering Design)
-APSC 150 (Engineering Case Studies)
-English (Academic University writing)
I choose to become an engineer because I enjoy working in groups. I enjoy collaborating on projects, and inventing and creating new things. I enjoy learning about the properties and physics of our world, and how to apply those properties to make life easier for mankind. Also, I want to hang VW Beetles off bridges!
Q: What is your typical day/week like? (Hours, food schedules, sleeping, outside of school
A: The exact schedule changes from day to day, but an average day goes something like this:
7 o’clock - Wake up, shower, breakfast at cafe.
8/9 o’clock - morning classes, three hours of lectures for three different classes.
Noon - Lunch time, usually sandwiches or lunch at Café.
break - 2-3 hours, usually either study and do homework or just relax.
3/4 o’clock - afternoon classes, sometimes labs.
6/7 o’clock - Dinnertime at Café
8/9 o/clock - homework until bed, around 11-1 o’clock. `7 hours of sleep
There are also plenty of hours spent on pre-reading (checking the text before you go to lecture).
As for meals, you load up your student card with credit and start of term, and use that to purchase food. There are review sessions at random times, especially around exams. There is
recreational “futsal” (indoor soccer) every Wednesday and field lacrosse every Friday. On weekends, the main things to do are catch up on homework, relax, game, and sleep; 3am
wakeup times on weekends. Other teams that I’ve heard of include the UBC Baja buggy team, which makes a dune buggy and races it, and the UBC Formula 1 team, which makes and races their own Formula 1 car.
Q: How do you feel about your school/ schoolwork/ classmates/ profs? Do you find the whole experience interesting?
A: The school in itself alone is amazing and beautiful; it is the perfect blend of modern ideas and rustic antique architecture. The schoolwork can be very difficult, even sometimes, if
not most of the time, overwhelming; up to one and a half hours of homework per hour of class time. However, finishing it leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Your classmates are some of the best people I’ve ever met. Everyone is here for the same reason; to learn and enjoy their experience at UBC. There are so many different nationalities on campus, and if you talk to the people you can learn so much of other people and their culture. The professors are just as diverse, and some of their accents take a bit of adjustment to get used to. As one might expect, some of the professors are better than others.. Most of the teachers have work hours, usually 2-3 hours a day, 1-2 days a week, where you can go in and get assistance with your work and education. UBC is one of the most diverse and interesting places I’ve ever been to. Between the people, the campus, and all the amazing programs and activities that are happening, it is an amazing place to
Q: What job do you hope to attain after you finish your schooling? Where do you want to see yourself in the future?
A: I haven’t quite worked out the details of that yet; I aim to work in the field of my study. There are many branches of engineering, Physics, Mechanical, and Civil Engineering for
example. I aim to secure a job in Engineering Physics, which includes research as well as entrepreneurship.. My engineering program encourages co-op programs, helping students obtain engineering positions before they graduate school.
I learned quite a lot from this interview. The point of the interview was to find out what kiind of experience a student would have coming fresh from high school, and it turns out, in the case of UBC, it is a reasonably good one. The campus is beautiful, the people are all very nice, there is so much culture to be explored, and the experience is, overall, quite pleasant. I also learned a little about the nit-and-grit of university, how much work and effort you need to be prepared to put into your courses, how expensive it is to do everything in school (although I didn’t record this in the interview), and the long nights you will slave away until the sun rises again doing homework.
When I came into this interview, I was unsure of how it was going to turn out; It’s taken so long for me to figure out what I want to do with my life, I just wasn’t sure where I wanted to
go with this interview. Seeing how pretty much anything I want could change at any moment, my plan on what job I wanted, my financial situation, where I wanted to go in the world and which school, and with who I would go with. I realized, after many an hour of consideration, that there was always one occupation that I consistently decided I was going to be going into, and even currently am: A student! I wanted to find out, through the eyes of someone who was in the thick of his university experience, what they were thinking of their situation, how they got there, why they are where they are currently, and where they’re going with their life. I think that the life of a student, while hard and grueling, is in itself its own reward, and the feeling of graduation after so long is one that I will experience. I now know that, without a doubt, I am going to become a student in the near future. All that is left is to figure out where I want to go and learn, and the job that I’ve been wanting will present itself to me. In the meantime I need to keep up with my studies and take as many useful courses as I can, and keep up my grades. As well as school, I need to start looking for more work and volunteer experiences, as this will be the best way for me to get scholarships and get my application to whichever university I chose to get accepted.