Yasamin Ranjbar’s Story
Yasamin’s experience in the Applied Biology (APBI) program at UBC began when she joined in hopes of preparing herself for veterinary school. She had worked at various companion animal clinics and wildlife sanctuaries, where she gained an understanding of the medical aspect of working with animals; however, Yasamin was looking to build her knowledge on the importance of animal welfare.
Yasamin started gaining more knowledge on animal welfare by taking various APBI courses (314, 315, 317), where she connected with her TA’s to ask for assistance in her coursework and to learn about volunteer opportunities with their research. Such opportunities allowed her to gain skills such as coding research data. When Yasamin took APBI 415 and 416, she immediately fell in love with wildlife and Dr. Walker’s method of teaching. She emailed her to ask if she could take a directed studies course with her (APBI 497) and she agreed. Through her research, Yasamin helped to set up wildlife cameras at UBC farm and coded the images of coyotes collected by the cameras.
During the summer of 2021, Yasamin was hired at the UBC Dairy Farm as a student worker and enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to stay at the farm for a practicum. At the same time, Yasamin started another directed study related to laboratory animals with Dr. Dan Weary and one of his graduate students. This experience allowed Yasamin to gain hands-on experience with lab animals and understand the research aspect of labs.
“All of these experiences, classes, connections, and wonderful professors and TA’s led me to my final goal which was getting into veterinary school. I realized that many of the lectures we learned in class were life lessons for me, they were information which I’d discuss with my friends and family members on a daily basis to educate them”. Yasamin chose to implement these teachings into her life, rather than just getting a mark in a class and forgetting the content. Yasamin suggests that all newer graduates do this, as the lessons that she learned in LFS were ones that she finds helpful in day-to-day conversations. Yasamin states that “these lessons can change your life (and others), make you think differently (with more maturity and humbleness), and change the way you look at nature, animals, and people”.
Yasamin’s main advice to undergraduates is to connect with your TA’s! “If you find a topic that interests you, ask questions, connect with others in the field”. Yasamin states that getting to know your TA’s can open you up to new opportunities.
Courses like APBI 497 are open to non-APBI students. Consult the wiki page to learn more about the application process. You will see more about how to reach out to potential supervisors! The Applied Animal Biology Practicum (APBI 496) is through application to a number of different potential partners. Check out the wiki site to learn more about these opportunities. You can also follow the APBI Student Blog to hear about other opportunities for students.