Convocation spotlight: Medical Laboratory Science '22 grad Maria Shahid

Maria Shahid will receive her BSc MLS in June.

06 June 2022

What achievement are you most proud of from your time in the program?

I’m most proud of the research I conducted in my final year of the Medical Laboratory Science program. I had the opportunity to help evaluate a new lab test for implementation right here in Alberta. I’m very grateful that the MLS program and DynaLIFE Medical Laboratories provided me with the opportunity to take part in clinical research as an undergrad. During my project, I worked closely with and learned from a wide variety of healthcare professionals which really opened my eyes to the versatility of my degree and all the possible career paths that I can take.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?

I would say the most challenging aspect of the program was balancing the heavy first-year course load with extracurriculars and clubs. The great thing about being in such a small program is that we're a really tight-knit group. I always had my classmates to turn to for help studying for exams or to just hang out and destress in the lounge. 

What initially drew you to this area of study?

What drew me to medical lab science was the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to patient care while playing a more behind-the-scenes role. I enjoy the fast-paced, rapidly evolving nature of technology in the laboratory and how hands-on the work is. 

What lessons will you take from pursuing a degree during the pandemic?

Navigating classes in a pandemic was definitely a new experience. Sometimes classes get cancelled or methods of delivery change at the last minute but the important thing is to remain open and adaptable to whatever comes your way.

What comes next for you in your career?

Now that I've graduated my main focus is on gaining experience in the field and hopefully being able to travel this summer.

What advice would you give to a student thinking of entering your program of study?

My advice to future students would be to not stress over mistakes since they are the fastest way to learn a lesson. If you feel like you need extra practice your classmates, TAs, and professors are great resources to help you get to where you need to be, so don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.