Joy Wang- “Looking back, it all made sense”

A meticulous fashionista, Joy is an HKSN alumnus. Instead of dwelling on confinement enforced by McGill’s science program, she opened up her wings and explored different fields. Her interview clearly demonstrates her adventurous mindset, and her Instagram is the proof that she has had an exhilarating life.

Tell us about what you studied at McGill.

I majored in Anatomy & Cell Biology and minored in Biotechnology with a Concentration in Management

What have you been currently working on after graduation?

I actually work in the marketing department of a corporate insurance company, specializing in online marketing!

What are some pros and cons about your program?

Pros:

If you are actually looking to do something science-related or research-based, then Anat is the right major for you. I don’t want to say it’s easier than most other science majors but it was, mainly because we had a huge selection of courses to choose from so you can choose what you actually want to learn about.

That part of the major was really fun for me — YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE ANATOMY CLASS WHERE YOU WORK WITH CADAVERS!

Coupled with my minor in Biotech, which allowed me to take courses from pretty much any faculty, really widened my scope of things. For example, I got to take Embryology as well as Finance. I got the sense that the people in my major were generally more chill about their school work.

One thing I really want to note here is my minor in Biotech. It was probably the best decision ever

because I didn’t want to go through applications to get a minor in management nor a minor in computer science so this kind of let me bypass those applications and went straight for the courses (you also don’t need to worry about not getting in to do the minor nor being able to take the class because it was too full).

Because the major has such a huge selection of courses, it is also easier for you to go on exchange and find the courses that are equal so you can get your credits transferred (THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT).

I went on exchange to Australia and I was able to transfer all of my main core science courses. I actually messed up transferring an elective but that’s a story for another day.

Cons:

It was very lecture-based and not very hands on.

The only class that was super hands-on was my anatomy class where we inspected cadavers, not to mention that was also a super fun class because of the prof! I can say that if I were in the field today, I would be able to spew out names of nerves from days of memorizing. But because I’m not, I don’t remember a single thing.

What were some valuable involvements at school that taught about yourself and oriented your goals?

HKSN! (jk but really)

HKSN was my stepping stone into my now marketing/business career.

Without it, I don’t think I would know how to deal with such a large group of diverse, creative individuals! It really created a sense of home away from home to me and I can’t stress that enough. Moreover, taking on a part-time job during school was also extremely beneficial to me.

I learned the importance of financial planning and getting my job at the McGill Media Relations office

(I took care of all of McGill’s social media channels and to this day, you can still see my face on the Facebook page somewhere down the line…) was actually the starting point of my online marketing career.

When I went on exchange to Australia, I actually ran into a job posting for a social media coordinator

and it paid a large sum of money and that’s when it kind of hit me that you can leverage these skills that you are naturally good at into a career! It was definitely a learning experience and turning point in my life, and when I became more determined and focused on my business career goals.

So you can kind of see how everything is falling into place when you connect the dots going backward.

All of these experiences really helped my personal development and career goals and I can’t thank McGill enough for providing me these experiences to help me get to where I am today.

Most regretful thing you’ve done at McGill

I wish I had gone into a faculty that was more hands-on and technical-based. I loved anatomy but I realized a little bit too late that it wasn’t the right thing for me and sometimes it will be hard to admit that.

I think being true to myself would’ve really helped and by the time I wanted to pursue something else, it was a little too late and I didn’t want to leave anything unfinished so I decided to finish my Bachelor’s in Science.

I don’t regret it as much because I was able to take the situation and turn it into something fruitful.

Proudest thing you’ve done at McGill.

I knew Science wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life so I took the first step in branching out towards something I truly am passionate in. Obviously you don’t really know what exactly you’re doing at the moment but you just kind of dive deep into it.

Looking back, it all made sense and I’m glad it took me to new heights and helped me solidify my personal goals.

What advice would you give to current undergraduate students at McGill?

You may be confused at the moment as to what you really want to do in life or questioning where your schooling is really going to take you, all I have to say is you never know.

If you’re thinking that you might be in the wrong faculty, it may be hard but taking the first step towards something you truly want will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. And if you can’t get yourself to do it or you’re still unsure, take your time.

Now is really the time to explore everything and find out what suits you, and you do that by getting involved as much as you do.

Sometimes I may have overloaded myself with overlapping commitments but at the end of the day, I am content with at least being productive and doing something than not doing anything at all.

ALSO I am a huge advocate of going on exchanges during undergraduate, what better time to explore not only the world outside of McGill but also to learn more about yourself!

I reflect and learn the most about myself when I travel so exchange is a superb way to ease into it! With the support of the exchange office and advisors, the best time to go on a semester of year exchange is during your third year (either semesters) or fourth year (first semester). At first I was hesitant as it would set me to graduate a semester later but honestly, that shouldn’t be a deciding factor as there is so much to see out there. And when you can travel, study at a different university, and not get graded (just P/F) within the comfort of university, you have got nothing to lose. And my last piece of advise as I tend to ramble: join clubs, join sports teams, get part-time jobs (either outside or through work study),

the people you meet will be the people you know for life and the connections you make at McGill will be nothing short of amazing.

Is there anything else you want to add on?

My biggest takeaway is that when someone gives you a piece of advise, take it. They’ve gone through what you probably could go through so why not avoid that and take in the wisdom. I didn’t listen to a lot of people until I realized I was in the same boat so that was pride I needed to get over and start listening! I’ve already said too much, hope this helps all you young seedlings out there! :D

You can follow Joy on her wondrous life adventures via Instagram @theshbang: www.instagram.com/theshbang

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