On a sunny day, Yanqing sitting with his dog outside on a fountain near UVic

Meet Yanqing (Lucis) Li, a 2017 graduate of UVic's Pathway program with the English Language Centre (ELC). This first-year program allows learners to meet UVic’s English language requirement while completing academic credit courses as part of their undergraduate degree.

After his experience in the Pathway program, Yanqing went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in statistics and mathematics from UVic, and then a master's degree in cybersecurity from the New York Institute of Technology. His specializations are in data analytics, cybersecurity and strategic consultancy.

Today, Yanqing's professional experiences are diverse and include teaching an algorithm course, conducting academic research, working in architecture and functional design for a start-up, and working as a quality assistant in the public sector.

Read on to learn more about Yanqing's story and program experiences

What motivated you to take the Pathway program?

I was motivated by a desire to have a bachelor's degree at UVic and integrate my technical skills with business acumen to succeed in my future career. The Pathway program at UVic offered a unique combination of coursework that bridged my major in statistics and mathematics with a minor in business—aligning perfectly with my career aspirations.

How did you find the overall structure and format of the Pathway program?

The program was well-structured, blending theoretical knowledge with practical applications. This format was instrumental in helping me understand complex concepts and effectively apply them in real-world scenarios. More importantly, it offers a universal and solid foundation and the choice to consider what major we will be interested in. 

How would you describe the support and guidance provided by the instructors throughout the program?

The instructors were incredibly supportive, offering academic and professional guidance when considering our major. Their commitment was evident through their availability for consultations and their proactive approach to ensuring student success.

What challenges did you face during the program, and how did you overcome them?

One of the main challenges was managing the rigorous coursework alongside research projects. I addressed this by enhancing my time management and organizational skills, allowing me to balance multiple responsibilities efficiently. I have successfully managed all of these and got a special scholarship after I finished my Pathway program.

Describe your experience with interacting or networking with fellow learners and/or professionals during the program.

Interacting with peers and professionals was a highlight of the program. It allowed me to build a network of like-minded individuals and industry experts, which has been invaluable for collaborative opportunities and career advice. You may also meet your lifetime friend who will finish their degree with you and maybe work in a similar industry.

Share a memorable or positive experience from your time in the program.

One particularly memorable and positive experience from my time in the Pathway program was meeting my friend Grant on campus. We supported each other and exchanged language, academics, and personal development strengths. He was helping me navigate the program's challenges and life outside of school. We keep in touch regularly and exchange gifts. It's a long-lasting relationship and personal growth that the program fosters alongside academic and professional development.

How did the Pathway program prepare you for the future or your current career?

The program prepared me by providing a solid foundation in theory and practical analytic skills, which is a solid foundation for me to take my master's in cybersecurity and maybe my future career in analyzing business. This is crucial for my current role in data analytics and strategic planning. It also instilled a rigorous analytical mindset, essential in my field.

What other educational or professional goals do you want to pursue in the future?

I will further my expertise by pursuing advanced data analysis, cybersecurity and project management certifications. Professionally, I aim to advance into a leadership role within operational strategy. I dream of leading a small team and contributing our achievements to society.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering taking this program but may feel unsure?

I encourage them to embrace the opportunity. The comprehensive curriculum and the supportive learning environment make it an excellent investment for anyone looking to enhance their skills and advance their career. You could make some friends from this program during the class, and they could be from all over the world and be your future references for professional connections.

Anything else you would like to share?

The Pathway program was more than just an educational journey; it was a pivotal point in my career. The skills and experiences I gained have been fundamental to my professional growth and confidence in the field. I have met many friends during this program. We sometimes take the same course together at UVic and still connect occasionally. They could be my lifetime friends. Life is not only about studying and working; having good friends to share your experiences and successes in life with are also important.

  • Posted May 17, 2024