Meet Arshia Nazem
Arshia Nazem is a Biomedical Science student going in to his fourth year of studies at the University of Guelph. Arshia has achieved impressive academic excellence in preparing for his future career as a veterinarian, while continuing to be heavily involved in extra curriculars both on and off campus including being a member of the Future Vets Club and founding the “Let’s Talk About International Students” movement, an initiative shedding light on the financial, academic and cultural challenges that international students face. This Summer, Arshia worked as a research student at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), working to better understand the prevention, development, diagnosis and treatment of canine meningiomas and related welfare issues, positively impacting the lives of veterinarians, pet owners, and pets.
Can you tell us more about what academic resources you have benefitted from at the University of Guelph?
“I have utilized various resources at the university since my admittance. The support of academic resources at the University of Guelph has been a major contributor to my success. I have used the writing services and career services extensively. These resources have allowed me to better market myself to potential employers and to advance my academic and interpersonal skills.”
Out of all the many extracurricular activities you have participated in at U of G, what have been your favourite experiences?
“Extracurricular activities allow one to work towards goals while giving back to the community, working in a team and gaining valuable transferable skills. My most memorable extracurricular experiences would have to be playing intramural sports and clinically servicing neonatal foals as part of the Foal Watch program at the OVC. I take pleasure in a wide range of sports and I have been riding horses since an early age. I love spending time with animals and helping critically ill foals was a double pleasure for me as a horse rider and aspiring veterinarian.”
What are some of the successes that the Let’s Talk About International Students movement has achieved since its founding?
“A friend of mine, Amirhossein Soozandehfar, and I initiated the movement to shed light on barriers that international students face in Canadian educational institutions, educate the public, and advocate for inclusivity. Since founding this group in August 2019, we have encouraged reviewing the process for Undergraduate Student Assistantships and increased efforts to make research opportunities for international students more accessible.”
How are you able to achieve a work/life balance and how do you choose what experiences you want to participate in?
“Balancing life in university can be extremely challenging. Setting small goals to attain to yourself and take care of your physical and mental health allows you to manage school and personal life better. Prioritizing your commitments is critical to achieving this. I tend to choose experiences that require leadership, allow me to network with others, enable me to give back to others and maximize my knowledge. Networking and finding connections, whether in person or online, through marketing oneself is also important and many of my experiences come from utilizing these skills.”
What does a “day in the workplace” look like for you in your Summer research position at the OVC?
“As part of my Oncology Summer research position at the OVC, I worked remotely due to COVID-19, on a project that focused on canine meningiomas and how we can accurately contour the tumour on computed tomography (CT) for radiation treatment purposes in the absence of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Towards the beginning of the semester, I would manipulate CT and MRI images in the Eclipse Planning System and add expansions to meningioma masses. Towards the end of the semester, I would work on formulating a scientific paper to be published.”
What have you learned from your experience about industry research?
“Through my Summer research position, I have advanced my written communication, information management and scientific knowledge skills. Through this project and participating in the Summer Career Opportunities and Research Exploration Program, I have further developed an understanding of how to explore industries and various career pathways that would match with workplace values held by individuals.”