1. Gabriel, tell us a bit about you.
I am 19 years old and I have just completed my first year of studying chemical engineering at the University of Toronto. I was born in Romania and moved to Toronto approximately 12 years ago.
2. How do you plan to use your studies to achieve your future career plans?
I would like to complete the first 3 years of my program then apply for a co-op placement in order to get a better idea of what exactly I would like to pursue in the field of chemical engineering. I am currently very interested in the water treatment applications of chemical engineering, but my program also offers minors in biomedical engineering and nuclear chemistry, so I still have not made a decision as to which minor I would like to pursue.
3. What do you hope to do after you graduate?
After I graduate I would like to begin working for a couple of years, then hopefully return back to school to obtain an MBa.
4. How did the ORCA Student Grant help you achieve your academic goals?
Considering that I was commuting first year, the grant helped me pay off some of the commuting expenses that I accumulated throughout the year.
5. Can you share with us how you found the application process for the ORCA Student Grant?
The application process was not complicated at all. The steps were very clearly outlined on the ORCA website, which eliminated any possible misunderstandings. The topic of the essay was also quite general, which allowed for the applicant to express themselves in a more creative manner.
6. What do you do for fun, when you are not studying?
I a very interested in flamenco and classical guitar, I currently teach at a music school on weekends, and occasionally perform at open-mic nights and other events. I Also enjoy travelling, last summer some friends and I went on a trip to Hungary and Romania, and this summer I’m doing another trip to Poland and Romania.
7. Gabriel, from your application, it is evident that you take a lot of pride from the social nature of the Romanian culture. What events you would like to see taking place among the Romanian Community?
There aren’t very many improvements to be made honestly, the only suggestion that I could make is to advertise the events more to university students, because they can be hard to come across at times.
8. What would you recommend for those interested in applying next year for the Student Grant?
I was a bit pressed for time when writing the essay because of all the other school work that I had to complete, so I recommend that next year’s applicants allocate themselves enough time in order to complete the essay according to their best abilities.
9. Have you considered becoming an ORCA Youth member?
Yes I have. The only thing that holds me back is the fact that I have a lot of work during the school year so I am unable to attend a large portion of the events
10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I am really sorry for completing this interview so late.
Interview by: Ana Vintan