The 3MT goes on tour
The Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC) in 2015 was the first deliberate step I took towards a career in research. Returning to the MURC stage, as a graduate student this time, was as exciting as it was nostalgic.
It was refreshing to see the eagerness with which a younger generation of scientists approached their work. It had only been 4 years since I had been in their position. I was delighted by the thought that each one of them had the opportunity to cultivate their enthusiasm to get them to where my career was at the time, or perhaps, even get them to transcend my own achievements. At this point, 2 months of awkward mid-commute recitals had etched the speech into my memory, and certainly made for a smooth albeit effortless delivery. This first stop on the post-3MT tour set the pace for the few months to follow; I was headed for a concatenation of speeches with all the glitz of the initial stages of my journey sans the crippling tension of competition.
The second stop on this journey was at Tapestry at the Wesbrook village. Tapestry is home to a community of mostly elderly patrons. This would be a vastly different crowd from any I had presented to before and with it would come the opportunity for diverse insights. Moreover, this presentation would be the first opportunity to present alongside the top three 3MT winners from Simon Fraser University. One particularly insightful contribution at this stage was the anecdotal experience of one of the patrons about the dependence of Northern BC towns on fossil fuels and ultimately their increased exposure to diesel exhaust pollution. Having never travelled to these locations, this provided a new angle for my thoughts on the relevance of my research locally.
Hycroft manor is a legendary Edwardian-style property that was constructed between 1908 – 1911. Originally belonging to the McRae family, this house was purchased by the University Women’s Club of Vancouver in 1962. Being invited to this prestigious heritage site not only created the opportunity to engage with a different audience, but also exposed me to the magnificence of 20th century architecture.
Strolling through the halls of Hycroft manor excited the 12-year old in me who had had a keen interest in European history; treating me to the sight of intricately constructed elixirs of the wealthy Vancouverites who lived here a century ago. Just as Hycroft was preserved in my memory as the zenith of my exposure to the history of private Vancouverite life, my presentation there was to be preserved as the final stop of my 3MT journey, or so I thought…
Midsummer of 2019 came with a pleasantly surprising invitation to present at the UBC President’s Summer Soiree at the Cecil Green House. This annual event invites some of the most prominent donors to UBC, treating them to an evening of great food and speeches by the UBC president and some of the outstanding students at the university.
As a former full-scholarship recipient, it was an honor to meet some of the charitable people behind critical scholarship programs at UBC. I was especially delighted to share the stage with UBC president Santa Ono, whom I had met on multiple occasions before as a student leader and ambassador during my undergraduate degree. This summer evening, punctuated by chats about my research and a bourgeois assortment of food and drinks, was the perfect way to wrap up this long trail of speeches. The twilight that warm summer day was truly the final moment that the sun set on my 3MT journey.
For part I of this story, please visit Three-minute Trail Thesis: The Take Off.