This week in our series highlighting UBC Okanagan School of Engineering Student Ambassadors, we visit with Eric Ma.
Eric is a fourth year student specializing in mechanical engineering.
What is your role with the Student Ambassador Program?
Responsible for SoE lab tours and Global Engineering Community (GEC) programs
Why is it important for you to give back to SOE & UBCO?
I’ve been enjoying my studies and life here at SoE, personally and professionally developed a lot with the help from faculty, staff, and colleagues.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved with?
Teaching Assistant (Sep 2017 – now): Leading a section of COSC 111 lab, marking assignments and providing feedbacks
CITE/AREMA Student Chapter (Sep 2016 – now): Hosted events to get peers to know about the Transportation Engineering field and helped students to build connections with industries
Research Assistant (Sep 2015 – Sep 2017): Research papers published in TRR journal and presented at TRB and CTRF conferences
Traffic Bowl Competition (Jun 2016/Jul 2017): Competed as a UBCO team member with other top Canadian universities at ITE conference on Transportation Engineering topics
Peer Recruiting Assistant (Mar 2017 – Jul 2017): Communicated with prospective APSC students and provided faculty-specific information and available opportunities
IPS (Aug 2015/2016/2017): Led Jumpstart orientations and provided English-Mandarin translation for campus partners
What has been your favourite course so far? And why?
ENGR 436 Transportation Planning and Design. This is the reason why I decided to take the Engineering program for university – because transportation planning and design is my passion, both personally and professionally.
What have you learned about yourself during your time at UBC Okanagan?
I used to be horrified about public speaking, even just 3 minutes in front of 10 people. Once I started to get involved on campus and take the opportunity to practice, I realized my public speaking skills improved a lot – and I believe that’s very important for my career.
Favourite pizza topping? And topping you never want to see on a pizza, ever?
Pineapple! And any kind of cheese that doesn’t smell good…
Favourite misconception about engineers and engineering?
What does transportation planning have to do with engineering? A lot of people don’t know exactly what engineering involves, but transportation planning does belong to the engineering family.
Best advice you have received so far at UBC?
Always connect with people. To be successful either in school or to find a job, connect with people is a must – that includes colleagues, senior students, school staff, faculty members, professionals from industry, etc.