Seizing the Opportunities Offered by the University of Calgary

Winter 2012

Armin Rouhi

Schulich Leader at University of Calgary

My experience at the University of Calgary in the past three months has been incredible. I am currently a student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Bioinformatics. This program, which is designed for students interested in pursuing biomedical research, offers courses that specifically aim to expose students to current research and teach them the basics of scientific inquiry. In addition to Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Calculus, I am currently taking Medical Science (MDSC) 203.

MDSC 203 is a very demanding course which teaches us basics of academic research, such as academic writing and presentations. In this course we pick a health-issue to study for the semester, and conduct academic research from three perspectives: Biomedical, Evolutionary, and Health and Society. After studying multiple peer-edited scholarly journal articles, we then write papers to present our research. In addition to the papers, we also study a separate disease in groups and present our findings in three 10 minute long presentations. Despite the rigorous nature of the program and its heavy work-load, I have been enjoying the class and gaining valuable skills from it.

I find my program a great step towards my future plans of having a career in health research. While in my first year I am learning about the basics of scientific research and theories, in future years my program will provide me with the opportunity to do more hands on research and learn about real world problems and the approaches to solve them.

Upon entering university, I wanted to make sure my experience would not be limited only to Academics. Therefore, I decided to continue my involvement in sports by becoming a member of the University of Calgary Track and Field Team. This is the sport I’ve been the most passionate about in my life, and have greatly enjoyed in the past few years. When making the decision to train with a varsity sport team, I knew time-commitment would be a critical factor, and I had to ensure it would not interfere with my academic studies. With two-hour long practices taking place almost every-day of the week, I gained certain valuable skills that I will always benefit from throughout my life. This is being able to work more efficiently, and managing my time better. I usually find myself being in university from early morning until late in the evening, leaving a much smaller portion of time for studying and completion of assignments. This ultimately resulted in learning to manage my time much more efficiently, and dedicating the right amount of time towards each activity.

The courses from the health Sciences program will help me attain skills that will be vital in my pursuit of a career in biomedical research, while the track and field program will teach me valuable life skills. Furthermore, I have also kept my student job as a basketball official in Calgary, and I continue to act as an active member in the community through volunteering. I am greatly appreciative of the opportunities the University of Calgary offers to me as a student, and I will put forward my greatest effort in order to contribute back to this great community.