Abdul Waheed Ahmadi is a MEng (Civil Engineering) student who is working towards graduating in 2022.
Why did you choose to pursue studies at UBC Okanagan?
I wanted to pursue a graduate degree that is industry focused. The MEng program offered at UBC Okanagan’s campus was the ideal option as it allowed me a head start in the Canadian industry through its co-op program. Additionally, UBC’s high global ranking coupled with the scenic (and calm) Okanagan life made it an easy choice.
What has the experience been like thus far?
It has been amazing in spite of the challenges imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The beautiful campus provides its students with state-of-the-art resources, laboratories, and facilities, empowering us to pursue our passion. Despite, being thousands of kilometers away from home, the welcoming community of Kelowna has made my experience very joyous and peaceful.
Describe your research:
During my third term I got a chance to work along other researchers in one of Dr. Shahria Alam’s laboratories, developing the new generation buckling restrained bracing systems. This project course gave me a chance to explore research field and enrich even further my graduate experience.
What do you enjoy about working with your supervisor and research group?
Working in the research laboratory, among great minds, is one of the more exhilarating parts of my graduate degree. Though I worked in the lab for a short time, through this opportunity I was able to observe and learn different aspects of engineering research. It challenged me to improve both my soft skills and hard skills. Even though I am not a research student, Dr. Anas Issa’s mentoring throughout the course proved to be fruitful and profound.
Can you talk about the importance of the EGSS to your experience at UBC Okanagan (Waheed serves as the EGSS VP External)?
The EGSS community is a growing community of graduate students. It is a great opportunity for me help the team facilitate events for graduate students and be a bridge for my peers in connecting their issues with the responsible authorities.
What do you like to do when you are not in the lab?
Reading fictional book, exercising in the gym, and hanging out with friends.
Can you describe your transition to living in Canada?
Being a student who pursued undergraduate degree away from home, adjusting to life in Canada did not prove to be too challenging. The facilities offered at UBC Okanagan, and the warm welcoming community of Kelowna, made Canada a home away from home.
Looking to the future, where do you see yourself? And what will you be doing?
From the beginning, my intention was to work in the industry. So, in October 2021 I started my Co-op work term. For the near future I will be focusing on building my knowledge about the construction industry in Canada and will see from there where the journey takes me.
Best advice you have received so far at UBC?
Reach out, in fact this is a great advice to all the new graduate students. You have to reach out in order for others to know what you need, you can’t imagine how many opportunities will pop up along the way.
Advise you’d give to a student considering UBC Okanagan for their graduate studies?
You are considering pursuing your graduate degree in one of the best universities in the world. So, once you are at UBC, reach out. There are tons of opportunities and resources waiting for you. You will be exhausted exploring them.