Simon Hua- BSc. Neuroscience

Simon Hua is a U3 neuroscience student at McGill. He is involved in DriveSafe and McGill Student Emergency Response Team (MSERT). He highlights the importance of friendship and extracurricular activities to cope with constant stress and workloads at McGill.

Tell us about what you have been studying at McGill.

I am a U3 Neuroscience (Cell and Molecular Stream) student.

What are you planning to do after your graduation?

I plan on entering the Integrative Program in Neuroscience (IPN) at McGill for a master’s degree. After that, I intend to pursue either a PhD or MD.

Interviewer’s note: IPN offers a master’s program (2-years). For more info, please check out http://www.mcgill.ca/ipn/

What are some pros and cons about your program?

Pros:

Neuroscience is a relatively small program admitting 50 new students each year. A small program grants the students valuable networking possibilities with each other and with the professors. This interdisciplinary program allows the students to take courses in different programs, broadening their knowledge in life science while exploring their interests. Neuroscience students have the option to take courses from Anatomy, Biochemistry, Biology, Immunology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychology, Computer Science, Math, and so forth. The Neuroscience program also provides the students the opportunity to research at the renowned Montreal Neurological Institute. It is not uncommon for professors at the MNI to have preferences for Neuroscience students.

The Neuroscience Undergraduates of McGill (NUM) hosts a variety of academic and social events throughout the year. The most anticipated annual events includes the Meet and Greet, Wine and Cheese, Meet the Professors, and Apartment Crawl. Furthermore, NUM prides itself in its Buddy Program where, with permission, a newly admitted Neuroscience student is paired with a senior student. This is an excellent way for the new students to get incorporated and for the seniors to give back to the Neuroscience community.

Cons:

I regard Neuroscience as a rather competitive and challenging program at McGill. It demands effort and time to thrive in comparison to your classmates. The program could appear to have a competitive ambience as opposed to a collaborative one. However, it definitely prepares its students for both graduate studies and medicine.

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

My research project is on central nervous system regeneration at the MNI.

I have had the privilege of designing and performing experiments at the forefront of neuroscience. However, I have also realized how tedious analyzing data could be. Aside from academia,

I am involved with McGill Student Emergency Response Team (MSERT) and DriveSafe.

MSERT is a student-run volunteer service that provides emergency first aid services to McGill University while DriveSafe is a student-run volunteer service that provides free rides for students to and from anywhere on the Island of Montreal. Through MSERT, I have experienced being a first responder, teaching standard first aid classes, managing operations for the club, playing on intramural teams, and so on. With DriveSafe, I have learned the streets of downtown Montreal, to drive in the snow, how to manage finances for the club and interact effectively with companies, and so forth.

These two extracurricular activities provide me with an escape from academia that keep me sane at McGill.

I am able to learn about my strengths and weaknesses by learning from these brilliant groups of people.

Most regretful thing you’ve ever done at McGill.

The most regretful thing I’ve ever done at McGill is not learning French.

That was one of my goals when I decided to study at McGill. I believe that learning a new language provides one with significantly more opportunities. I truly regret not learning French considering how I have been living in Montreal with two roommates who can both speak French fluently. Being able to speak French would definitely open more volunteer and job opportunities for me at Montreal.

Proudest thing you’ve ever done at McGill.

The proudest thing I’ve ever done at McGill is meeting some of the greatest people in my life.

I am absolutely grateful for the group of friends who motivate me and give me something to look forward to every day.

I believe that I have made positive impacts towards the university being on MSERT and DriveSafe and I dedicate that to my friends.

They are the ones who motivate me to make these commitments.

What advice would you give to younglings at McGill?

Get involved with the diverse clubs, services, and community. There are countless opportunities out there waiting for you to discover. McGill is home to some of the brightest minds and warmest hearts.

Make friends who inspire you to live with a smile everyday. In my opinion, that’s one of the best kinds of medicine in life.

Is there anything else you would like to add on?

Thank you HKSN for this opportunity! ❤

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