Celebrating the graduates of Spring 2020: Bryce Erickson

Meet some of the graduating class of Spring 2020—and celebrate convocation virtually with them on June 12.

News Staff - 03 June 2020

Convocation has moved to an online celebration this year, where graduates, their proud families, and their instructors will celebrate the class of Spring 2020’s hard work and achievements on June 12. As the celebration approaches, meet Bryce Erickson, graduating with a BSc Honors in the Department of Chemistry, and hear from him about his family connection to campus, fond memories of his time at UAlberta, and what comes next.

What led you to pick UAlberta for your studies?

I always knew I would go to the University of Alberta as my father was an alumnus. When I finished high school, me and my father drove an hour from my small town of Tofield and we walked around campus together. He pointed out HUB mall, the old Dentistry/Pharmacy centre and the Henry Marshall Tory building, all buildings that were present when he completed his BSc in pharmacy in 1982. The campus felt like the right place for me, so I sent in my application and was accepted into the Faculty of Science.

Tell us about your experience in the Faculty of Science.

As a chemistry student, I spent the majority of my time in the Gunning/Lemieux Chemistry Centre in classes and Cameron Library studying. I found it easier to compartmentalize my life so I would stay at the university until my assignments were completed each day. This made it easier for me to work hard when projects were due and relax once everything was finished. I also tried to schedule a full day for hanging out with friends or to rest every Sunday, but this often disappeared come exam time.

What is one of your favourite memories from your time at UAlberta?

My fondest memories at the university were studying with friends in Cameron Library. During exams, we spent up to 14 hours a day cramming in the library. The comradery, Filistix, and International Fare made the long hours easier. I was also lucky enough to work with Professor Matthew Macauley in his lab in the Department of Chemistry and spent many hours in Chemistry East within the group. I learned a lot, met great people, and immensely enjoyed my time there.

What advice do you have for current and future students at the Faculty of Science?

The best advice I can give is to work hard and plan for the future. I was really surprised how quickly a four-year degree passed. I felt rushed planning for life after graduation and wish I would have decided on one avenue earlier in my degree.

How have you spent your time during COVID-19 distancing?

I have actually been very busy post-graduation despite the lockdown measures. I’m currently taking some accounting courses online to prepare for my master’s program and also working for my parents. Because of COVID-19, my parents’ healthcare business has actually become busier, so they’ve needed the extra help. I started working shortly after the university moved to online learning.

How do you plan on celebrating convocation?

I will be joining the online convocation celebration with my fiancé and parents. I’ve also invited my grandparents to attend with me through Zoom. We won’t be able to see them in person due to physical distancing.

What's next after graduation?

My educational pathway is a little bit unconventional for a chemistry student. I’m planning to move into finance using a master of science in finance program in the United States or the United Kingdom. My chemistry degree has provided me a strong foundation in math and analysis to build from. I also hope to leverage my experience in chemistry through finance roles in the healthcare or technology sector in the future.