Student stories

A work term in a medical lab inspires interest in medical school

Jasmine Benoit

Valley Medical Laboratories

“Learning about bacterial and fungal infections in class before seeing them in real life was exciting,” Jasmine says.  “It helped me make the connection and make a difference in the lab.”

While working up close with infections may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s been a dream job for UVic biochemistry and microbiology co-op student Jasmine Benoit. She spent the summer working with Valley Medical Laboratories, where she got her hands dirty examining bacterial cultures.   “I’m working with different infections every day,” she says. “It certainly kept things interesting for a first co-op term.”  

Originally from Kelowna, BC, Jasmine chose UVic for the hands-on opportunities it offers. Her  coursework primed her for work as a laboratory assistant. “Learning about bacterial and fungal infections in class before seeing them in real life was exciting,” she says.  “It helped me make the connection and make a difference in the lab.”

While Jasmine initially pursued science to challenge herself, she quickly developed a passion for bacteria and the human immune system. She put this passion into practice during her work term, where she used streaking and culturing techniques to analyze patient tests and identify potential ova and parasite infections.

She also put her problem-solving skills into practice and developed her project and task management. “This job definitely gave me an insight to the medical field and has inspired me to go towards that path,” she says. She hopes to pursue immunology, pathology, or oncology, but for now, she’s on to a second co-op work term.

 Going forward, Jasmine plans to complete her degree before applying to medical school. “You won’t regret joining co-op!” she says. “The work experience will launch you forward in your future career.”

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