Emma Luker was a UBC Greenest City Scholar in summer 2017, working with the City of Vancouver’s Green Infrastructure Implementation team on a rainwater management project.
“While I originally applied for this position because it was aligned with my research interests, there were a number of skills that I had the chance to develop which could not have been easily advertised in the job description.
A hidden benefit of the Scholars Program is that you get some amazing public speaking opportunities, and with that comes networking. I might be alone here, but I find networking really hard. I struggle to figure out how to sound interesting, without blatantly seeming like I am trying to sell myself. I found my Scholar research to be a perfect entry-point to showcase my applied skills and interests. After that, networking became a bit less intimidating and a bit more fun.
As a Scholar, I also got to experience what it was like to work in a complex public institution. I worked out of the City offices, attended interesting presentations, and built professional connections with other City departments. I was also working with a dynamic and motivated team that really helped me solidify my burgeoning career goals.
I realized how much I enjoyed being involved in long-term urban planning projects with clear environmental goals, and I used this information to apply for jobs where I could realistically see myself being happy. I think a big reason that I scored a permanent job (I now work in UBC’s Campus + Community Planning Department) was because I used the Scholars program as a stepping stone in my career.
My experience made the transition from student to working professional much smoother than I thought it would be as a grad student with a lot of education and little work experience. Overall, this program was invaluable to me when deciding what to do with my degree.”
— Emma Luker, Greenest City Scholar