Interview With Andreea Matei

  1. Tell us a bit about you. Why did you choose Biomedical Science as your field of study?

The reason for which I chose to study biomedical science stems from my ongoing passion for science, particularly biology and chemistry. Throughout high school, my curiosity for the subject grew as the material began to focus on the in depth mechanisms by which life intricately functions. I think what motivates me in this field is the continuous curiosity I have for new findings that seem to emerge daily in the world of biology. Most importantly, I am passionate about what science can do for humanity. The sense of excitement and utter fascination the field provides for me is why I can say I love what I am studying!


  1. How do you plan to use your studies to achieve your future career plans?

I plan to use my undergraduate studies in biomedical science as a stepping-stone for more in depth studies in physiology and molecular biology. As I am currently volunteering as a research student, my studies are not only giving me the theoretical knowledge required for a career related to biology, but will also allow me to experience what it would be like to work as a researcher. The laboratory skills I am gaining give me an advantage in the sense that I can see biological processes I learn in class right before my eyes. These skills will allow me to hopefully achieve a career in medical research one day.


  1. What do you hope to do after you graduate?

After I graduate, I would ideally like to take a year off and volunteer at a mobile clinic in South America. This would give me a health care field experience enriched with certain hands on experiences I would not be given the opportunity to perform in Canada. Furthermore, I would like to volunteer at an orphanage in a rural area of Romania. In the future I would like to take these experiences, along with my research experience, and apply to medical school, with the hopes of one day practicing as a medical researcher.


  1. How did the ORCA Student Grant help you achieve your academic goals?

The ORCA student grant provided me the comfort of putting some money aside to fulfill my volunteer wishes abroad by alleviating some financial burden associated with tuition. The grant money helped me pay my tuition thus far, so that I can focus on saving for the future.


  1. What do you do for fun, when you are not studying?

When I am not studying I love to play soccer. The truth is, there is not much time out of the day when I am not studying or at school, but soccer will always be a passion of mine. Of course spending time in good company is one of my favorite ways to relax. Whether its going dancing, going for dinner, or watching a movie, spending time with my family and friends keeps my sane in the midst of the busy school year.


  1. I know you like to volunteer for and be part of Romanian activities, for example the

Romanian Business Networking Society. How did you feel being part of this group enriched you? What other events you would like to see taking place among the Romanian Community?

Personally, Romanian involvement is something I have always supported for all young Romanian-Canadians. I think it is extremely beneficial to come from such a rich cultural background and live in Canada, you could say you have the best of both words. More importantly, I think maintaining our Romanian culture abroad is imperative to preserving our roots. The enrichment provided to me by the Romanian Business Networking Society was making connections with successful people within our community. Having volunteered at their events, it is rewarding to see that Romanians can flourish, connect, and help one another abroad. Other events I would like to see taking place among the Romanian community is seminars for students on how to productively plan ahead for a successful career (e.g in professional school).


  1. Given the fact that you are one of last year’s winners, can you share with us how you found the application process for the ORCA Student Grant?

I found the application process very simple and straightforward. I specifically enjoyed the essay on “Why my Romanian heritage is important to me.” It really made me reflect on what it means to be an ambassador for young Romanian immigrants in Canada, and how my culture gives me an advantage on life perspective. I get to integrate my Romanian and Canadian values; you really get to see the world through a different lens.


  1. What would you recommend for those interested in applying next year?

I would recommend that those interested in applying next year definitely apply! Do not let this generous opportunity pass you by. Stay focused on your studies and believe in your capabilities.


  1. Have you considered becoming an ORCA Youth member?

I have recently become an ORCA Youth member. Furthermore, I have founded a Romanian Student Association at York University that will be in affiliation with ORCA. This way, we can gather all of the students we can to participate in ORCA activities, meet new people, and ultimately, have fun!


  1. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes! I would like to thank ORCA for initiating this grant for the benefit of current and future students to come. Your generosity and thoughtfulness will provide opportunities for students they may not have been able be explore had it not been for your kindness. This grant will motivate Romanian-Canadians to succeed in their studies with the thought that their efforts are being appreciated and rewarded. Thank you!


Thank you and we look forward to having you in our Youth team!


Interview by: Andrei Banaru