Leanne Varney, BSc (Hons), is a University of British Columbia MD Candidate 2026. When Leanne is not busy working hard at medical school, she mentors Nadia (Cohort 2020) and Megan (Cohort 2021), and spends lots of time outdoors. In this brief article, Leanne shares a little bit about herself, why she got into mentorship with the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship program, and leaves us all with a little bit of advice.
Hi Leanne, thanks for joining us today. Can you start off by sharing how you got into our mentorship program?
From mentee to mentor, Leanne’s passion for mentorship comes from a place of familiarity.
LEANNE VARNEY — I love the supportive environment Beedie Luminaries works to provide to post secondary students. I was a recent graduate when I became a mentor, so I felt connected to a lot of the experiences my mentees were going through. It has been great to be matched with mentees that are a little outside my area of specialization because I also get to learn more about their experiences in their own fields!
Besides mentorship, can we learn a little bit more about you?
What was your favourite subject in school?
My favourite subject from grade one onwards was science, so I guess it is no surprise that I went to university for a biochemistry degree and ended up pursuing medical school.
How would you describe yourself? What are the three qualities that got you where you are today?
I would describe myself as someone who is adventurous in exploring new opportunities. The three qualities that have seen me throughout my journey so far are: curiosity, determination and a sense of humour.
Where is your happy place?
My happy place is a beautiful little harbour tucked away in Desolation Sound. I am so lucky to have amazing grandparents on my partner’s side who have a beautiful ocean trawler. We are fortunate to get out and explore the coastline almost every summer with them, and have even spent nights sleeping on the boat and enjoying incredible sunrises over the ocean.
What is a dream you have not yet achieved?
I am an avid photographer in my spare time and would love to spend a summer adventuring and photographing landscapes in the Yukon.
Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
A fun fact about me, is that I have a pet hedgehog named Penelope!
What advice would you give to post-secondary students as they prepare to transition into the working world?
The skills you learn in post-secondary will serve you in the working world in ways you may not always expect. There is often such a focus on learning the material that is specific to your specialty, but you will have grown in ways that are transferrable across disciplines too. Your ability to communicate with others, meet deadlines, navigate new territories and bring resilience to times of stress will see you through a lot of the transition. Try your best to have confidence in your personal attributes, because just like starting a degree, new information can and will be learned.
THANK YOU, LEANNE!
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