The Benefits of Indecision

October 06, 2005, vol. 34, no. 3
By Kate Hildebrandt

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For some, indecision can be a good thing. Grace Kaur Randhawa, for example, is a 23-year-old with an insatiable appetite for learning.

Now focused on a career in genetic science - the first graduate of SFU's new joint major in molecular biology and biochemistry (MBB) and business, plus one of eight select students in BCIT's post-degree clinical genetics program - Randhawa wasn't sure where she was headed a few years ago.

Born in Faro, Yukon, she grew up in Whitehorse and graduated high school with lots of credits, “because I took a lot of courses.” Physics, biology, chemistry, calculus, early morning phys ed, comparative civilizations, you name it. She knew she'd end up in the sciences, she just wasn't sure which one. Accepted to SFU upon graduation, Randhawa chose instead to go to Yukon college to clarify her study plans.

There she discovered a passion for biology and chemistry, which led her to Kwantlen college where she delved into cell biology and genetics. Upon completion, she knew what she wanted from SFU: kinesiology. SFU's reputed program has a required course in molecular biology and biochemistry. Randhawa liked the course so much, she changed her major to MBB. The added option for a joint major in business administration was a perfect compliment.

“Business on top of science makes me unique, especially here with our booming biotech sector,” she says.

Drawn to the mystery of human biology and the challenge of genetics, Randhawa is now in her element. “So many amazing things go on inside the human body: the mechanisms, the harmony and balance. There's so much to learn.” Fascinated by this new frontier thanks to advances in genomics, Randhawa is prepared for a competitive work world as there are only so many jobs in genetic science.

“I will qualify for jobs in hospital genetics labs doing diagnostic work plus, if I change my mind, I can pursue the business side of science.” She thanks SFU for helping her map her own future, claiming she found herself there. “I know that sounds cliché,” she laughs, “but it's the truth.”

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