What do you think is special about Queens's campus life?
What is truly special to me about Queen’s is the sense of community and school spirit. Being in a smaller university town, I see friends almost everywhere I go in Kingston. During homecoming, the town comes alive with alumni with a fiery passion for the school they previously called home. Even now, 2 years out of my undergraduate degree, my
How would you describe the workload and work-life balance?
For a Queens Life Sci Graduate...
Why did you choose your program? What makes it unique to you?
Entering my undergraduate degree, I knew that I eventually wanted to pursue medicine. I was interested in how the human body functions both at the microscopic level and as an entire being interacting with healthcare systems. The Life Sciences program at Queen’s gave me the opportunity to study the human body functionally, with courses like immunology and anatomy, as well as holistically, with courses like sociology and global health. I also benefited greatly from the fourth-year research program, allowing students to specialize in a selected research topic and complete a thesis project. I learned an incredible amount and felt truly supported by my mentor. Additionally, Queen’s has an astonishing amount of extracurricular activities which enabled me to be a positive contributor to my local and global community while making meaningful connections. I can confidently say that I would
not be the person I am today, studying medicine if I had
chosen another program.
Queen’s puts a strong emphasis on work-life balance. Life Sciences was by no means an easy program, but I always felt like I had time to be with friends, stay active, and be fairly involved in the Queen’s community. Even when I started doing research projects and working during the school year, I only really felt stressed during exams. There are amazing counselors allocated to Queen’s students as well as librarians and other resources/supports to help find what work-life balance means for you. I know that in my first year I was quite eager to sign-up for everything and anything. I met with an academic counselor who helped me sort out my schedule and prioritize which extracurricular activities were meaningful to me and therefore worth spending my time on during the school year. I also found that my professors were always very understanding of personal circumstances or even just willing to talk about the course material if anything seemed challenging.
Are there many research opportunities?
Queen’s has a robust, supportive research program. It is a major academic center and with the added benefit of a high staff to student ratio. Throughout my undergraduate and medical degrees, I have felt like I can approach any researcher or professor for advice and to become involved in projects. If they have nothing available, they will always be sure to direct you to colleagues who are looking for research students. I have been with my current lab since my undergraduate degree, and I feel inspired every day by the research that goes on all around me at Queen’s. I can only hope to eventually be as reassuring, compassionate, enthusiastic, and brilliant as the many research mentors I have had in my time here. The research community at Queen’s has truly motivated me to continue research as I go through medical school and start my career as a physician.
friends and I reminisce about our times here and look forward with excitement to homecoming. Queen’s campus is also small enough that it is easy to get between classes, enjoy the campus pubs and shops, admire the ivy turning colours on the buildings in the fall, and enjoy the abundant extracurricular activities. Kingston is unique in that almost all students live within a 15-minute walk of campus, meaning that you’re never far from friends to hangout, study, play some sports at the gym, or just enjoy the lakefront.
What is some advice you would give high school students when applying to your program?
Queen’s is a school known for valuing students who seek to use their skills and passions to make the world a better place. I would really encourage students to ask themselves what they truly love to do and how they can utilize it constructively. For example, when I was in high school, I discovered that I really enjoyed graphic design. I used that skill to help create advertising campaigns for my local school board that discouraged smoking in youth. With Queen’s, you also have the added benefit of submitting a personal essay. This can seem daunting but do your best to be candid and genuine in your aspirations and experiences. Reflect on the moments that have helped you grow as a person and ask yourself why you want to pursue your program of interest. It can be hard not to focus on what you think admissions wants to hear but I promise you, being uniquely and honestly yourself will increase your chances of admission more than anything else.
A very special thank you to our interviewee...
Hello! My name is Kiera Liblik and I am a second-year medical student at Queen’s University. I also completed my Honours Bachelor of Life Sciences degree with a Specialization in Anatomy at Queen’s. I have spent time living in Winnipeg, Vancouver, the GTA, and Germany – Kingston is actually now the place that I have lived the longest! I am primarily interested in the intersection between Womxn’s Health and Cardiology, hoping to eventually become an Interventional Cardiologist. In my free time, I love being outdoors, powerlifting, baking, research, graphic design, and running. Queen’s has truly been home for me during my post-secondary education. I am incredibly grateful for the people I have met, the memories I have made, and the professional support I have received here.
Please feel free to connect with me via social media if you have any questions about my time at Queen’s or my journey from high school to medicine.