As a graduating psychology major and economics minor, Manil Chowdhury believes that a degree is more than just a piece of paper; it is a collection of experiences. Manil’s experience with the Vancouver Rent Bank through the Arts Internship Program has allowed him to explore his passions both academically and professionally.
“I was looking for a position that would be a great fit for me,” Manil said about joining the Arts Internship Program. “The Vancouver Rent Bank was a good match for the two disciplines that I have studied.”
The Vancouver Rent Bank provides interest-free loans to people who are at risk of losing their living accommodations. The position was a perfect match for Manil. He has had the opportunity to take on tasks related to psychology and economics, such as assisting people with the application process and analyzing statistics.
Manil enjoyed his internship and extended his term to eight months, ending in December 2013. After completing his internship, he decided to continue his position at the Vancouver Rent Bank as a volunteer.
“Time management was a bit of a challenge at first, especially because I started working in a lab position with the Department of Psychology,” Manil said. “However, I was able to adjust my class schedule and balance my priorities to accommodate everything.
The Arts Internship Program is just one of many avenues where UBC students can explore throughout their degrees. Manil encouraged both students and faculty to think outside the box when it comes to learning.
“Catherine Douglas is an excellent economics professor,” Manil commented. “She encourages students to venture out of the classroom, and to go beyond studying for exams and reading scholarly papers.”
As slam poetry artist Johnny Macrae recited in his Imagine Day 2013 performance, a degree is really only a piece of paper. Manil believes that university is not only about obtaining a degree, but also about making the most of the experiences that come along.
“Why limit learning to the inside of a classroom?” Manil said. “Students need to make the most of experiences whenever and wherever they occur, and not only in university. It’s a mindset that carries on through life.”