Quick Links

Where are they now?

Alexandra Sumner

Graduated December 2012 with a B SC Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Major Environmental Biology – Wildlife Biology  

Alexandra interned during the summers of 2011 & 2012 with Dr. Solomon of the Macdonald Campus as a field research assistant
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?  The semester after I graduated I worked as a lab assistant in Chris Solomon’s aquatic ecology lab on the Macdonald Campus.  It was because of the internship program that I got this job after graduation, as it was with Chris that I did my internship.                                                                              
Where and What are you studying? I am currently doing a Master’s in Biology at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario.  My research looks at mercury bio-accumulation in freshwater fish in Boreal Shield lakes.  Although I have only been a student since September, I spent the summer working at the Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University doing lab and field work.                                                                                                       
What would you like to do with your degree?  It seems as though a Master’s is now a minimum requirement for many research positions.  With my degree, I hope to open up my career options.                                                                                    
Describe your internship experience in one word. Invaluable                                                                                   
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program?  First, I would recommend that every student get experience in their field.  Through an internship you might discover exactly what you want to do after graduation, like I did and if you don’t enjoy that particular internship, you will know not to continue in that direction.  Secondly, I would recommend students to start the internship program early in their degree.  Do multiple internships and get as much experience as possible!  It will only benefit you as you apply for jobs or grad school once you are done your undergrad.
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished?  After completing my Master’s degree, I hope to continue in aquatic research.  Whether that will be in an academic setting or not, I am not quite sure.

Frédéric René-Laforest

Graduated May 2013 with a B Engineering Bioresource Major Bioresource Engineering

Frédéric interned during the summer of 2012 in Dr. Adamchuk’s lab on the Macdonald Campus
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?  In the summer 2013, I started my masters with Dr. Adamchuk. I have been working on multiple variable controllers for precision agriculture developed in partnership with John Deere and I also did the mechanical design of a future patented On-the-Spot Soil Analyzer (OSA). 
Where and What are you studying?  I am still on Macdonald Campus in the Bioresource Engineering Department. I am writing a thesis with my masters and I will focus on precision agriculture technologies such as variable rate fertilizer spraying or variable depth corn planting.                                                                                                               
What would you like to do with your degree? Doing my masters with Dr.Adamchuk will give me great experience in instrumentation & control technologies and I want to find a job in an engineering company, either in agriculture or in any relevant company that involves system designs and the environment.                                                                               
Describe your internship experience in one word. Enriching, fulfilling, gratifying                                                                               
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program?  If you want to do grad studies, it is a very useful experience to do an internship with a professor as a research assistant. In addition, it is much easier to find a job when you finish your degree if you have already been an intern for a company.
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? I would like to have a stimulating job with an innovative company and I would like to have contributed in the design and development of new technologies.

Joyce Mak

Graduated in May 2012 with a B SC Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Major Agricultural Economics – Agribusiness

Joyce interned during the summer 2010 at the Tung Hoi Aquarium
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?   I took some time off to travel around Eastern Canada and Southeast Asia. I returned to Hong Kong and I'm involved in building the McGill Alumni society here and starting up Hong Kong's first roller derby league.                                                                      
Where are you currently working? Shortly after my travels, I accepted a position at Manchester United's newly opened Asia Pacific office in Hong Kong as the first Research Analyst in the region to discover new potential partnerships for one of the world's most distinguished sport teams.  Working in Hong Kong is a lot of fun, particularly the night life and there's a very large network of young, international professionals that feeds in the vibrant energy of the city                                                                                                                   
What does your position entail? (Duties and Responsibilities)  Because the office has only been operating for a year, it is very much similar to working at a start-up and I worked on various tasks both related and unrelated to my department.  Some tasks include: understanding and compiling information on various industries and companies in Asia Pacific to give recommendations on who to approach for sponsorship, training new Research Analysts into their roles, working with sales managers to build rapport on how to best present this opportunity and writing specific reports addressing the concerns of clients, working with the creative department in potential campaign ideas to pitch to clients, working on the strategy and business development department on finding 'gaps' in our sales operations, etc.        
Describe your internship experience in one word. Eccentric/Dynamic         
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program? Although I did not pursue a career in my field, I have been able to apply many of the soft skills I acquired in university in my day-to-day tasks. The best advice is to INTERN.  Getting as much experience as possible before you graduate will allow maturity in the workplace; develop interpersonal skills and networks in the professional field.
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? I would like to expand my experience with more international exposure. I enjoy developing a business, and I hope to pursue a career related to business development.

Laura Braun

Graduated May 2013 with a B Engineering Bioresource Major Bioresource Engineering

Laura interned during the summers of 2011 & 2012 with Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB) and IUP
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?   I completed another internship over the summer and started my Masters this fall.                                                                       
Where and What are you studying? I am completing a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Business Management at Imperial College in London, UK.
What would you like to do with your degree?   After my Masters I will either do a PhD or find a job in environmental consulting. Hopefully it will involve some research. 
Describe your internship experience in one word. Motivating
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program?  Do as many internships as possible and try to work with your professors throughout the semester (as a research assistant or honors). It will help refine your career choice and help you figure out what exactly it is you want to do with your degree
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years?    I would like to be working as an environmental consultant in the field of water treatment. Ideally, the job would require work in developing countries and projects that aim to improve water treatment systems. 

Michelle Reeves

Graduated May 2013 with a B Sc Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Major Environmental Biology – Wildlife Biology

Michelle interned during the summer of 2011 at Le Nichoir
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?  In July 2013, I started working with an organization called Our Horizon in Toronto. I'll be with them until December, after which I will travel to Brazil to learn Portuguese and in September, I'll be going to grad school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.                                                                        
Where are you currently working?  In Toronto, with Our Horizon, which is a non-profit that fights climate change by lobbying municipalities to pass a by-law that would require a warning label on gas pump nozzles to connect people to their use of fossil fuels.                                                                                                               
What does your position entail? (Duties and Responsibilities) I am Director of Communications. I planned and organized a cross-Canada tour for my boss to travel from coast to coast over two months, giving presentations in communities and at schools (from elementary to universities) to spread the idea and to get people interested in lobbying for the labels in their own municipalities.                                                                                                                  
Describe your internship experience in one word.  Self-discovery.                                                                               
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program?  Take advantage of all the amazing field opportunities that are at your fingertips. Also, create connections with your professors and start developing a network of connections. Even if you only have a few, those connections are invaluable once you graduate!
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? I would like to have completed my Master's degree and would like to be in the field, doing environmental or biological consulting.

Rebecca Rolph

Graduated December 2011 with a B SC Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Major Environment – Water Environments and Ecosystems Domain – Physical; Minor Chemistry

Rebecca interned during the summers of 2010 & 2011 with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Since you graduated, what have you been doing? I have been working on a research cruise where I was measuring the trace gas CFCs as part of the 'International Global Ocean Carbon and Repeat Hydrography Program'. We went from Barbados to Woods Hole up the Atlantic, and we were on the ship for about a month before reaching port. After that, I was a wrangler in Jackson Hole Wyoming, giving people trail rides in Yellowstone National Park at a dude ranch. Then I moved to Germany to pursue my MSc degree in Integrated Climate System Sciences at Klimacampus at the University of Hamburg.
What are studying? I am currently writing my MSc thesis at Klimacampus at the University of Hamburg, Germany, where I strongly recommend environmental students with a strong background in physics and math to apply after their BSc. Klimacampus at the University of Hamburg is a great environment to work in, and the flexibility of the program allows the students to get an integrated view on climate system sciences.  You have the opportunity to specialize in social sciences, biogeochemistry, or physics of the climate system, and to combine the specializations to get an overview of the impacts and dynamics of climate change. I am specifically using the a fully coupled earth system model with a biogeochemical component at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology to investigate the biophysical effect arctic phytoplankton might have on large scale climate predictions via their ability to absorb shortwave radiation.                          
Describe your internship experience in one word. Illuminating                                                                 
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program? Don't be afraid to travel, it really opens new doors and gives you an idea of career paths you might never have considered before or knew even existed.
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? I am planning to pursue my PhD in Europe, relating to climate sciences, and hopefully sea ice research.

Sadman Islam

Graduated December 2012 with a B Engineering Bioresource – Dean’s Honor List
Major Bioresource Engineering

Sadman interned during the summer of 2011 with Dr. Lefsrud on the Macdonald Campus
Since you graduated, what have you been doing? I’m currently working full-time as a bilingual technical instructor at John Deere Canada, ULC in Grimsby, Ontario (halfway between Toronto and Niagara Falls).
What does your position entail? (Duties and Responsibilities) Provide training to John Deere sales and service technicians all over North America, on the latest Agricultural and Turf products in the John Deere lineup. Training is delivered in both English and French.
Describe your internship experience in one word. Practical                                                                                   
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program? Always work while you're at university, it helps to build work experience as well as professional networks.     
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? Pursuing my Masters degree at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom next year, after which I would (ideally) like to work as a policy coordinator for the United Nations.

Xavier Belanger

Graduated in December 2012 with a B SC Food Science Major Food Sciences – Food Chemistry

Xavier interned during the summer of 2012 with Agropur
Since you graduated, what have you been doing? I’ve been working as a Sales Rep for an ingredient company called Quandra                   
What does your position entail? (Duties and Responsibilities)  Inside sales representatives: development of new business, management of existing territory and technical support for existing clients.
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program? Know your industry! Most people coming out of university will not know where to go. Make contacts by doing internships and volunteering and attending professional events.
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? Outside sales rep and I would like to work on my MBA

Yasmin Schuermann

Graduated in May 2012 with a B SC Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Major Agro-Environmental Sciences – Animal Production, Animal Health & Disease

Yasmin interned during the summer of 2010 at a swine farm in Switzerland
Since you graduated, what have you been doing?  Where and What are you studying? I am currently a graduate student, here a Mac Campus, completing my second year of my Masters under the supervision of Dr. Raj Duggavathi. I am studying ovarian biology. In particular, I am studying the effect of growth factors and their receptors and how they affect ovulation.
What would you like to do with your degree?  I plan on continuing my education here and hopefully completing a PhD. I very much enjoy the work and learning lab techniques. I especially enjoy TAing and interacting with the students and the Mac Farm.
Describe your internship experience in one word.  Enlightening
Can you offer any words of advice for undergraduate students in your program? Animal Science Program: -Get involved with working at the Farm; -Always ask a lot of questions; -Try and find a balance between theory and practice (don't just accept what you learn in class, but really try and apply it). I find a lot of people spend all their time memorizing information for their classes to get a good grade on mid-terms and finals, but do they really understand what they memorize. This is something I am really noticing as I am TAing and I think it is very unfortunate. I think there should be some changes in the way lectures are presented in some classes and the way the students are evaluated; -Take the time to find job opportunities in the field (vet, animal nutrition, etc) There are so many opportunities at Mac, but you have to take the time to look around and ask!!!
On the career front, where would you like to be in five years? And what would you like to have accomplished? In five years I will have finished my PhD (if I do pursue it)… I enjoy teaching and working with animals (especially dairy cattle). I have a variety of plans for my future and they will definitely involve animal science and agriculture. On one hand, I enjoy working with genetics and improving the dairy cow. I would love to work for Holstein Canada/ Semex (Classifier/ Sire Selection/ lab work). On the other hand, I think there are a number of improvements that have to be made in the animal science field and as I mentioned, I would like to make changes in teaching and helping students really understand what they are learning. In addition, I grew up on a dairy farm and I would love to find ways to improve the value of farmers in today’s society and place a greater value on our local food. I am an advocate for the consumption of Raw Milk (illegal in Canada at the moment) and I would like to present scientific data to back up legalizing this food  (many studies have been done in the 1930s, but few people are looking at this topic nowadays, which is unfortunate). We say we want to eat local and eat healthy, well to me this is one step in the right direction. It is time to step away from processed foods. As you can see I have a lot of interests!