Interview by Eva Rizk
Margaux is a second-year Pure and Applied Science student who has been selected to be a part of the 2020 class of Loran Scholars. After a long, meticulous, three-month interview process with over 5000 applicants, she and 36 other students were selected to receive Canada’s largest undergraduate award. I sat down with her to discuss her goals and her future.
Why did you decide to apply to the Loran Scholars award?
My friend told me about the scholarship since she knew I was involved in my community. The scholarship is not free money. You have to study outside of your province, and do three internships. The foundation guides you all through your four years of studies. One of the biggest advantages is the community that surrounds the award. Everyone is involved in their community like I am, so I genuinely feel like they want to help me. The people involved with the foundation inspire me to keep doing more.
Does having to study out-of-province stress you out?
Originally I wanted to go to McGill or UdeM, but now I have to look into universities I didn’t even know about. I’m definitely stressed because I’ll be far from my family and my friends but I am excited to build a new community. This is definitely an opportunity I can’t pass over, and in the end, I hope it’ll make me more resilient.
Do you have an idea of what program you want to go into?
I like biomedical engineering, because of the maths and physics aspect in the field. But with that, there also comes an opportunity for social contribution by working with prosthetics. In Waterloo, Ontario, there’s a program called Systems Design Engineering which lets you look into the social, economical, and environmental impact of an engineering project. There aren’t many programs that mix physics with social impact, which is why both of those fields interest me the most.
Is the interview process as meticulous as they say it is?
Yes! I felt so stressed for three days. First, I had to go through a round of regional interviews, which was held at McGill. You have to go through two individual interviews, one lunch interview, one interview with a panel of four judges. When you’re not in interviews, you’re interacting with the other applicants. After that, I got chosen for the next round of interviews which was in Toronto. Over there, you have about five interviews to go through where they ask questions to know your intentions and motives behind your engagement and to know what kind of impact you’re making.
Do you think you’re going to keep in contact with the people you’ve met?
I really hope so. I do know that every year there is going to be a retreat with all the 36 scholars. And I think that we will all have to go visit the final interviews for the 2021 class of Loran Scholars. This award provides us with a strong community, one that they make sure all the scholars can commit to. That’s something they put a lot of emphasis on during the interviews.
Is there a main motivator in your life that led you to be so involved since you were young?
I’m not exactly sure why. I do know that since I was very young, I’ve been interested in the fight for equality and equal opportunity. The projects I’ve worked mostly deal with women. In high school, I worked with a team of my classmates to help women in Senegal by providing them with menstrual pads so they wouldn’t have to miss school, and also helped with leadership development in women. I’m also part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program here in Montreal, which I love. I also definitely hope to continue my involvement in the next few years.