The transition into university has been...

Winter 2014

Alex Dhaliwal

Schulich Leader at McMaster University

The transition into university has been a whirlwind of school work and opportunity. The Integrated Science Program at McMaster allows me to have a majority of my classes with only 40 other students who are as equally driven and inspired by learning as I am. They are my motivation to try hard and do the best that I can do.

This innovative program has challenged me in some rather interesting ways. My classmates and I have already planned a trip to Mars in search of signs of life and have been scrutinizing caffeine and alcohol from a variety of scientific perspectives, including addiction, chemical synthesis, biological effects, and environmental impact. This is done in the context of monumental research projects performed in small groups. I have found these projects to be a great way to learn how to collaborate as a scientist while still learning the curriculum.

Although the shocking increase in work has lessened my extracurricular involvement, I still try to find a way to get involved in my school community. My peers in iSci elected me as their academic representative for the first year populace. This gives me an opportunity to become involved in my education by directly communicating with the administrative members of my faculty, voicing the concerns of my peers and suggesting ways that the program can be improved. I also get the opportunity to talk with the representatives from other faculties, allowing the opinion of a small program such as Integrated Science to be heard by the larger faculties. I am also a part of the Quizbowl team for McMaster and the recreational music initiative MacBeat.

I am currently looking for a research or volunteer position for the upcoming summer. One of the options that interests me is to volunteer at the local hospital to gain experience for a potential career in medicine. However, I have also been discussing with my professors about performing research with them during the summer months.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a more exciting university experience! I cannot thank the Schulich committee enough for the opportunity they have afforded to me. I will continue to do all that I can to represent them well, starting by diving right into this second term!