"University is all about discovering your passions. Take risks. Try new things. Or else you'll never know what you're missing."
- Degree: Bachelor of Applied Science
- Program: Integrated Engineering
- Campus: Vancouver
Year: 3rd Year
Hello, my name is Pan and I am an upcoming third-year student in Integrated Engineering. Moving across the globe from Thailand to Canada was definitely a scary experience and difficult to adjust, but my experiences here truly make UBC feel like home! During my time here, I had the opportunity to join Thunderbots, an engineering design team, as a software team member where I get to work on cool autonomous robots and learned many skills outside the classroom. I also was involved in the UBC Engineering community by participating in several Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) events including painting the cairn and E-Week competitions where I made great memories and friends.
How did you decide your current UBC Engineering discipline, or why did you choose UBC Engineering?
Funny enough, I actually did not know about my program, Integrated Engineering (IGEN), until I saw a presentation on the program in one of the first-year classes. I was debating on joining computer or mechanical engineering, so when I discovered that there is a program where I can combine the two I could not be any more excited! I was drawn to the flexibility of the program and the opportunity for students to tailor their degree to what they are interested in. Also, as someone who enjoys working on hands-on projects and collaborating with others, IGEN’s yearly capstone design project was definitely one of the main reasons I joined the program. And after a year, I can definitely say I do not regret my decision at all! I love being a part of this tight-knitted community where I can explore different paths in engineering.
What has made your time at UBC Engineering memorable?
My most memorable experience at UBC was definitely in Thunderbots. Being a part of the design team really helped me discover my interest in robotics and artificial intelligence. I received hands-on experience and learned software skills from mentors. From this experience, I learned that there is so much to engineering than just academics and come to genuinely enjoy my time in the program.
Tell us about your experience in your program. What have you learned that is most valuable?
Aside from various technical skills I gained such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and PCB Design, the most valuable lesson I learned was the value of collaboration and communication in engineering. Through my experience in the program, I realized that most tasks cannot be done alone. Each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses and only through collaborating and helping each other, goals can be completed. By listening to others' unique ideas, problems can be solved more productively and creatively! From collaborating and learning from different people, I have learned many skills and finished projects that I have never imagined doing.
What resources or events organized by UBC Engineering have helped you in your academic, professional or entrepreneurial journey thus far?
The career fairs hosted by UBC were hugely beneficial for my professional journey. Not only does it connect students to future employers, but it also provides a network for career exploration and professional development. I gained insight into different work environments in each engineering field and where I see myself in the future. I recommend every student attend these fairs and take advantage of available UBC’s resources. Another event that I found really helpful was UBC Engineering mentorship program. I had the opportunity to listen to upper-year journeys and their experiences. It helped me understand what kind of career paths I want to pursue and their words of advice helped me gain confidence in pursuing engineering.
What is one piece of advice you would share to a student entering UBC Engineering?
One piece of advice I would always give is to say yes to as many opportunities as possible. University is a great place to meet new people and to discover your true passions and interests. If I didn’t say yes to new opportunities I would never realize what I truly want to pursue in engineering or meet my closest friends that I have right now. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing new things can be scary at first but the experiences you will receive are beyond rewarding.
At UBC, we are creating highly impactful solutions that aim to radically transform health and wellness, and shape a society and economy where people are more connected, empowered and effective. How has UBC Engineering inspired your entrepreneurial thinking, and helped you make a difference in your own community or beyond?
As someone who joined engineering with the hope to aid our society through technology, UBC Engineering is a great place to contribute to change. For my second-year capstone project, I built an autonomous waste sorter in the hope to decrease waste contamination at UBC. Although it was just a prototype project, I gained real-life applications of the engineering design cycle. I learned how to approach real-world problems by interviewing stakeholders, defining design requirements, and brainstorming different solutions with peers. From this experience, it is apparent that UBC provides supportive space and resources for these entrepreneurial ideas to become reality. I am grateful to receive tremendous support from professors and the faculty so I can continue to create solutions for our society in the future.