Parmpreet Mangat is currently a Grade 12 student at WCI. She is a well-rounded student who participates in an immense amount of extracurriculars while managing a full course load of University stream courses. Despite having an exceptionally busy schedule and trying to balance school work, volunteering, working, and more she still manages to excel in each area of work. In this interview, Parmpreet further explains the extracurriculars she participates in.
What extracurriculars do you participate in?
Over the past few years at WCI, I have been a part of a variety of clubs and sports teams. I’ve been a part of Track & Field, Rugby, Concept, VIP Mentorship program, Arts and Culture Festival, cofounded HOSA, teach Punjabi at my temple in the summer, and volunteer at Grand River Hospital.
So you volunteer at a hospital, how did you get this opportunity?
I randomly had the urge to try and contact the coordinators at Grand River Hospital and ask if they’re taking volunteers. I’ve always wanted to volunteer at the hospital and get a feel for the type of environment it is in a hospital, as I’d like to pursue a career in the medical field.
What motivated you to want to volunteer at a hospital?
All my life I’ve wanted to be a doctor, but first I wanted to experience what it’s like to work in a hospital and interact with patients. The hospital was the perfect place for me to get this experience. In the hospital, I get to welcome patients and make them feel at home and I learn about their lives. The hospital really feels like one big family, which is what motivates me to want to go back each week.
What jobs do you have to do when you work at the hospital?
I volunteer in the dialysis unit. In this unit, I’m in charge of weighing patients before and after their treatment, as well as portering them to and from the dialysis area to the main entrance. In this unit, I meet the same patients every week. I’ve created a sense of friendship between myself and the patients, allowing them to be more comfortable with me.
Along with volunteering at the hospital, you also work at a local pharmacy, what made you pursue this job?
I have a friend who also works at this pharmacy. She knew I was looking for a new job and she told me they had an opening at her pharmacy. I was quite interested and wanted to explore different career paths because I knew pharmacy could be a good backup career path. She recommended me to her manager and I got called in for an interview. Initially, I was nervous but once I got into the interview room I was confident and knew I wanted this. I was hired and have been working there since March.
Did you need any prior qualifications in order to get the job at the pharmacy?
I did not have any pharmacy experience whatsoever however, I was interviewed by the Zehrs Team, not the pharmacist(s) themselves. So, they asked me basic questions about customer service, organization, time management and so forth. I had worked at Canadian Tire and an Esso Gas Station prior to this job so I was well aware of how to interact with customers and handle problems with responsibility and integrity.
Do you think that volunteering at the hospital and working at a pharmacy are going to be beneficial opportunities that will help you in the future?
Definitely. I think volunteering at the hospital and working at a pharmacy will help me a lot. Every university is looking for students who are well rounded and I think that I demonstrate that well with all the activities I’m involved in. I also hope to continue volunteering at the hospital for the next few years, as it will help me get into medical school after undergrad. Medicine is super competitive and you need to be prepared well ahead of time.
What do you hope to do after high school?
My goal after I finish high school is to go to university. My top two choices are Waterloo and Western. I’ve applied to Waterloo’s Biomedical Program and Western’s Medical Science Program. Growing up in a family full of doctors I have found it fascinating and I’ve seen it as a career with a variety of options. My family owns a hospital in India so whenever I go I get to see what it’s like and I think that it’s a career that interests me. My dream job is to become a surgeon, specifically a cardiovascular surgeon specializing in heart surgery.
What has been your biggest motivation to succeed?
My biggest motivation has to be my mom. I want to accomplish a lot in life and make her proud. I want her to enjoy her retired life as much as she can. My uncle also has a really big influence on me. He is a General Surgeon in India. Throughout his life, he’s accomplished a lot. I’d hope to see myself in his position in the future. I’m really glad to have him for support and guide me in the right direction.
You also helped create a club at WCI known as HOSA, how did you do this?
My friend Nadine told me about this club that SJAM has which is called HOSA. It’s a real competition that happens in Toronto every year and is similar to DECA but instead of business focuses on the Health Science field. Nadine G, Marisa G, Emerald L and I wanted to bring this club to our school. We wanted to provide students who are interested in Science, Medicine, etc. to have the opportunity to be a part of something.
What is the purpose of this club?
The purpose of this club is to provide students who are passionate about Science and Medicine to be able to be in a group with students who share similar interests. This competition allows students to meet several students across Canada and make new friends. It’s important to be social and have connections. You also get opportunities to meet professionals that can provide you with an outline of what their career s like. Besides this, students gain leadership skills, social skills, presentation skills and teamwork skills.
Along with your obvious passion for the medical science field, I hear you also have an artistic side and passion for dancing?
I’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember. I probably started dancing at around the age of 6. I self-taught myself my traditional dance, which is known as Bhangra and Giddha. These are the two types of folk dances that belong to Punjab in India. I naturally got this passion from my mom as she enjoys dancing. I have a huge love for dancing as I feel it is an outlet in which I can express myself when I’m mad, sad, angry or happy. There are so many genres within Punjabi music that you can find anything depending on your mood.
What events have you danced at?
I’ve danced at weddings, Language School annual show for 4-5 years, Arts and Culture Festival. At Arts and Culture Festival I’ve also been given the opportunity to choreograph dances.
Do you find it hard to manage your time with all the extracurriculars you do and how do you balance your time?
Yes, it can be quite difficult to manage everything and still stay sane. However, I just take it one step at a time. I’m quite an organized person, so I like to plan everything out and write down all that I have to do for the week. I cannot function properly until I write down my plan for the week. I usually plan by determining what my main priorities are to my least. Based off that I start working accordingly. I also find that having a lot on my plate keeps me more motivated because I cannot be lazy and must utilize all the time I have in order to succeed.