Tyler Ho (BASc ’20, Electrical) was selected as the School of Engineering’s Head of the Class for 2020. The Head of Class medal is given to the graduating student with the highest average among a set of 3rd and 4th year courses.
What inspired you to go into engineering?
As a kid, I always enjoyed math and science and then in high school, I took several AP physics classes. These classes showed me firsthand how math and science could be applied to real world problems. Engineering seemed to provide the best platform for me to use my skills to help make the world a better place.
Why did you choose UBC Okanagan?
While I am from the US, the rest of my extended family resides in British Columbia. After high school, I was looking for a change of scenery and my frequent family visits to BC had made me fall in love with the beauty of western Canada. So, I decided to apply to UBC. I was originally hoping to get accepted to the Vancouver campus but, as luck would have it, I ended up at the Okanagan campus. It was honestly better than anything I could have asked for. My time at UBC Okanagan has been filled with so many wonderful experiences and opportunities I would not have had anywhere else. The staff and faculty are amazing within the School of Engineering, and the engineering community as a whole is wonderful.
What was the secret to your success?
Community. I know that my success at University can be attributed to the people who surrounded me. This includes my family, friends, Church community, teammates, and coworkers. These people celebrated with me in the good times but also stuck with me during the hard times. They constantly pushed me to be a better student, Christian and man. Really nothing I have accomplished would have been possible without their support through it all.
Favourite courses(s)/ instructor(s) during your time at UBC Okanagan?
I really loved my time at UBC Okanagan and there were many courses that helped me grow as a student. Going into my second year I was still on the fence between focusing on a mechanical or electrical engineering degree. It took about two lectures of Dr. Ayman Elnaggar’s Digital Logic Design course to realize that electrical engineering was the path for me. All his courses were fantastic and helped to spark my interest in computer programming and hardware. However, my favourite course at UBC Okanagan was Dr. Kenneth Chau’s Advanced Electromagnetism course. The delivery of the class was a stark difference from the normal lecture style and the content constantly pushed me to learn more. It has inspired me to hopefully pursue grad school down the road.
As a volunteer tutor at local schools, why is that important to you?
I have always believed that giving back is part of my responsibility to my community. I feel that it is important to use the skills you have been given to do good for those around you and leave the biggest possible impact wherever you can. Since first year, I have volunteered with the children’s ministry at Willow Park Church and a local school (tutoring math and coding). My goal to make every child feel loved, valued, and important. I hope to serve as a role model to these kids and help them grow to become wonderful young people.
I also began tutoring students on my floor when I worked as a Residence Advisor. This aligns with my goal of trying to have the biggest positive impact on the world. If I can help future engineers better understand the skills they are learning, then hopefully they can use those skills to get a degree and help change the world in the future.
I feel extremely privileged to be in the position I am in, and I hope that I can continue to give back to those around me throughout my career.
What does the future hold for you?
I am currently working as an EIT at Primary Engineering here in Kelowna. I love everyone I work with and I am excited to learn the ropes as a working professional. I hope down the line I can pursue further studies, however, as of now I’m undecided on which field.