‘My love of the natural world fuels my interest and curiosity’
Justin Budyk’s passion for his studies comes from his love of the outdoors. And that passion is fuelled by the four co-op placements he’s had at the International Institute for Sustainable Development-Experimental Lakes Area.
“I would say the hands-on field and lab work led to my focus area being freshwater science,” says Budyk, an environmental science student in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources. “I discovered a passion for water quality, fish research, zooplankton and aquatic invertebrates through being exposed to collecting data in the field. My love of the natural world fuels my interest and curiosity so the field is the perfect place for me to be!”
The co-op program also allows him to take what he learns in class and translate it into work experience.
“Getting real job skills gives meaning to going to classes because I’m applying the theory I learn in the classroom to the real world. At the very least, I feel like I am much more competitive and hireable due to my work experiences.”
While academics and gaining on the job experience are important to Budyk, he also makes time for socializing at university.
“If you want to get the most out of the university experience, you have to get involved and out of your comfort zone,” says Budyk. “One of the non-academic things that made a big impact on me was joining the University of Manitoba Climbing Club. Through this group, I was exposed to an exhilarating sport, and brushed shoulders with a broad range of students outside of my home faculty.”