Convocation Spotlight - Rebekah Rashke, ‘21 BSc MLS

Navigating the unexpected provides valuable learning opportunities, according to newly trained medical laboratory scientist.

24 June 2021

What was your most memorable University of Alberta experience?

Playing Uno in the student lounge in-between classes and modifying the rules to make it more entertaining and challenging for everyone involved.    

What was your favourite class during your program?

Any time spent in labs is time well spent, but examining smears or performing pretransfusion workups in hematology and transfusion are some of the most enjoyable.       

Who was your mentor or favourite professor? 

There isn't one professor who hasn't played an important role throughout my time in this program. Knowing that every faculty member genuinely cares about each student and strives to help them achieve success in this program is incredible. Despite the unique challenges that have risen in the past year, that focus hasn't changed and I am very grateful for the support my classmates and I have continued to receive.      

What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a U of A student?

I was continually willing to adapt to whatever circumstances I found myself in, whether that be changing how I study for different subjects or interacting with various preceptors. If something doesn't seem to be working for me, I learned to recognize it and then try a different approach.               

What inspires you about your chosen field?

The advances laboratory medicine has made with technology and the continual development of new methods. I think it is so fascinating what we are capable of detecting and how it is used to correlate with the status of the patient's health.          

What have you learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how do you think this will affect your career?

The clinical laboratory has always been more 'behind the scenes' when it comes to patient care, and COVID-19 has shone a light on laboratory science. This has provided the opportunity for us to showcase who we are and how we contribute to health care. As I begin my career, I hope the momentum generated from the pandemic enables me and others in our profession to continue to advocate for the importance of medical laboratory professionals.   

How do you plan to celebrate convocation?

At home with my family, and over Zoom with my classmates. :)     

As your journey comes to a close, what advice do you have for new students?

Stay open-minded and be willing to give challenging subjects a second chance. A topic that is hard to conceptualize should not be the determining factor as to whether or not you pursue a career in that discipline. It just might require a bit more effort into understanding and could end up being very fulfilling.

No matter how prepared you think you are, there is always going to be something that comes along and throws a wrench into the plan. What you do with that wrench next becomes much more important than any plan you thought you had, and could be the tool you needed to accomplish the goals you've set out for yourself.