Shao's story

Shao pursued her personal interests through Kinesiology Co-op and Work Learn opportunities.

Kinesiology was a natural choice for my undergraduate degree, because I always participated in sports and fitness. I feel that everyone has a right to be active regardless of their age, ability or disability, and/or gender. Through my pursuits in Kinesiology, I decided to be an orthopedic surgeon. I mean a concussion researcher. Actually, maybe a NASCAR driver. For the last few years, I’ve had my sights set on law.

I was part of the Kinesiology co-op program where I worked with Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! in sport marketing and event planning. Eventually, I withdrew from co-op to pursue UBC’s Work Learn Program. There are many appealing aspects of Work Learn, including a plethora of jobs ideal for students; learning from a supervisor(s) who teaches you new skills; being able to finish your degree on time; and flexible jobs since they are part time.

Currently, I work at GF Strong in the Rehabilitation Research Lab as a research assistant for Ben Mortenson, PhD., OT. Among his latest projects is evaluating the validity and reliability of several measures that will be used in future scooter research studies. Research in this area is important because with Canada’s aging population, more people are using mobility devices such as scooters, and being trained in their operation may help reduce scooter related accidents and injuries.

In my role, I edit manuscripts for Dr. Mortenson before they are submitted to academic journals, and assist in making revisions. My other tasks involve recruiting subjects, conducting scooter training sessions and questionnaires with subjects, and data entry.

So, if I want to be a lawyer, why am I working in health care?

While it is important for each of us to have academic and career goals, it is equally important not to lose sight of our personal values and interests.