Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?
My interest in the sciences at a young age, and specifically, Marine Biology, has always driven me to investigate the fields of Biology and Chemistry. When applying for a program which best suited my needs, I decided to pursue a bachelors degree in Biochemistry as it was able to provide the best of both worlds. By studying a program of my choice, I am able to keep myself motivated and on top of things. I also chose to major in Biochemistry as the program possesses flexibility to choose several different pathways such as Research, Medical School, Pharmaceutical Marketing, etc after obtaining your bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, the co-op component offered by Brock University for the Biochemistry program complements the learning taking place inside the classroom by providing job placements for a term, allowing students to gain valuable work experience.
Alongside my Biochemistry major, my strong interest in Philosophy has allowed me to pursue a minor in Philosophy, which complements my analytical skills by sharpening my critical thinking skills.
For a Brock Biochem Student...
How would you describe your first year at Brock?
I would describe my first year at Brock as a period of growth and development as I was not only able to learn and refine my skills, but also learn more about myself in terms of what I am interested in studying and exploring various other interests of mine. As an international student from Lagos, Nigeria, adapting to an entirely new culture did pose challenges, but I was also exposed to positive new
experiences such as going to my first ice hockey game, seeing my first snowfall and living in a typical dorm-room style residence. Navigating through my first year of university also tested my time management and organizational skills a lot as there were many activities and events that I wanted to participate in, but could only attend if I was keeping my grades up and finishing my “household” chores. This constantly pushed me to be on top of stuff, as if I began to lack in a certain area (which happens from time to time), the tardiness would spill over to other aspects of my life and have a negative effect on either my academics or personal life. That being said, I had an amazing first first year!
Do you feel there's a good support/transition program for freshman students at Brock?
Brock University provides great resources for incoming freshmen to transition from high school to university. The first week of university is known as orientation week, where freshmen are able to explore the campus and its resources while engaging in fun activities such as concerts, games, movie nights, etc, where students can make new friends. For international students, the Brock International Student Services is there to help out international students adjust to the new environment by hosting orientation sessions, student guides and multiple other useful resources. All things considered, Brock is very accommodating to students of various backgrounds and offers multiple ways to integrate freshmen into the university lifestyle.
What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?
My advice for prospective students applying to the Biochemistry program at Brock University would be to know what type of environment you feel comfortable studying/learning in and to use all the resources provided by the institution. If you find yourself to be an early bird and very productive in the morning, take the 8am lectures/labs. If you find yourself to be more of a night owl, don’t hesitate to take classes at a later time. The point of university is for you to succeed, so plan around the times you would be the most productive. Secondly, as an incoming freshman, you are not expected to know everything about either your program or general student life. Professors and Teaching Assistants are highly valuable resources if you have any questions or if you want to build a professional relationship with. Brock University possesses some of the most renowned professors who are well known in their fields, so I highly recommend that incoming freshmen build a connection with them. Lastly, you are in no pressure to stay in the program you applied for, so if you want to switch programs, your academic advisor will be more than happy to help.
How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?
The workload in university is much different from high school as there are generally more assignments, projects, tests, etc following strict deadlines. Although it could vary from
program to program, my program consisted of weekly assignments, tests and labs for my science and math classes. That being said, with proper time management and organizational skills, you will have enough time for yourself to pursue other interests or hobbies. My interest in community service, the student government and sports allowed me to be a part of various clubs, hold leadership positions in the student government and participate in intramurals helped me de stress from studying while simultaneously gaining experience from being a part of various roles. Some of the resources that Brock offers are workshops intended to help students improve their time management skills, and club fairs, where incoming freshmen can get a glimpse of student life outside academics.
Aside from balancing your studies from your interests, another factor that must be considered is the factor of taking care of yourself (if you are staying in residence). Staying on top of your sleep, diet and
mental and physical well being is just as important as doing well in school. Now trying to balance all these different tasks can seem overwhelming at first, but there are many people always willing to help out.
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hey guys! My name is Adithya Sethumadhavan and I am the International Student Ambassador at Brock University for the upcoming year. I am a second year Biochemistry major who is also minoring in Philosophy. I try to be as involved as I can by being a part of various different clubs (academic and cultural) and holding positions in the students government at Brock. I am also involved in Greek Life at Brock through which I have volunteered for many fundraisers for cancer research (Huntsman Cancer Institute). Feel free to ask me about my program and/or Brock!