Peer Tutor Spotlight – Annie Zhou

Photo source: Annie Zhou

Hello! My name is Annie Zhou and I am a 3rd year Integrated Science student specializing in physiology and genetics. I was born in Guangzhou, China and immigrated here when I was in Grade 2! This summer I will be working with the Klein-Geltink lab at BC Children’s Hospital under the Summer Studentship Program and hopefully learning more about disease associated with LARS1 deficiency.

This past term I was a peer tutor for BIOL201 and I loved the experience!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a competitive badminton player! I spend most of my spare time at the badminton courts with my friends and prepping for tournaments. I can’t sit down for an extended amount of time so I have to move around periodically. During the lockdown period, I ran 5k everyday to release that bundle of energy, which is a habit that I am trying to keep with school being back in person. In the summer, I hope to go on 10k runs 3x a week!

What has being a peer tutor brought to your undergraduate experience?

I definitely grew a greater appreciation for the professors, TAs and peer tutors in my own courses. By being a part of a teaching team and having to interact with a diverse group of students with different learning styles, I recognized the amount of effort that a teaching team puts in to ensure everyone’s needs are met. By being a peer tutor, I have also learned a lot from the students I interacted with as well. For example, I noticed all of them have very different studying techniques and habits. There were students that were always completing problem sets the day it was published, which motivated me to do the same with my other courses.

What do you most enjoy about being a peer tutor?

One of my favorite things about being a peer tutor is sharing my experiences with other students, especially non-academically related ones. There were many times when students would just come into my office hours and chat with me about their everyday life. As a peer tutor, I love that we get the privilege of taking on a “friend” role as well. It makes me very happy when students come to my office hours just to study with me.

What are your plans following graduation?

I honestly have no clue. There are so many possible choices out there (e.g., grad school, med school, teaching…) and so many things that I want to be involved in that it is honestly very difficult to make a choice. In the past year, I’ve taken on new experiences to explore my interests. I worked as a research assistant at St. Paul’s hospital to explore the potential of pursing a Master and PhD, and I am also volunteering at an optometry clinic to see if I would potentially like a job with more patient interaction. By gaining more experiences in a variety of fields, I hope I can make a decision about what my plans are.

What opportunities relating to teaching and learning have you been a part of?

I am currently a support worker at Canucks Autism Network, where I support individuals on the autism spectrum and help them build meaningful connections. I think this is a very unique learning and teaching experience as I am working with individuals who think very differently from myself. This experience adds a lot to my perspective with what I do, and it is probably one of the most rewarding and enriching roles I’ve ever taken on. After every single session, I feel the satisfaction of what you can accomplish by guiding someone and helping them learn.

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