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Headshot photo of Pearl Esquivel wearing a black graduation gown with blue and yellow convocation hood.

Alumni Q&A: Pearl Esquivel

Pearl Esquivel graduated in June 2022 from the online Bachelor of Health Sciences. Pearl initially joined the program through our Articulation Agreement with St. Lawrence College (Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees). She agreed to answer some questions about her experience in the program.


What are your plans now that you have graduated?

I am currently working as a chiropractic assistant, but I’m currently looking for opportunities in research as I focused my degree in Applied Research Methods in Health Sciences. I plan on working for a couple years, but ultimately, my plan is to further my education with a Master’s degree in epidemiology or public health.

How has the program prepared you for future opportunities/your future goals?

The courses I took to complete the program helped me prepare for research and healthcare opportunities. Courses such as IDIS 280 and BMED 373 helped me view the importance of patient-centered health and health ethics. While courses such as HSCI 383 and BMED 270 helped me understand research methodology, which is significant in the field I want to pursue. Elective courses such as CANC 380 were also interesting as it helped me realize that I may want to pursue opportunities in cancer research.

Why did you originally choose the Queen’s Bachelor of Health Sciences?

I chose the program because it was part of an articulation agreement available through St. Lawrence College. It provided the flexibility I needed to further my education and career opportunities.

How did you find the transition from the college experience to the university experience through?

The transition was very smooth! My Pre-Health professors were very helpful and prepared me very well for the BHSc program. I was able to use a few transfer credits from my Pre-Health program to complete the BHSc program as well. 

What opportunities/advantages did coming through the pre-health pathway provide you?

The pre-health pathway courses made me more knowledgeable of the concepts and courses I took in the BHSc program, especially the earlier courses in the program such as PHGY 170, PHAR 100, and STAM 200. Many of the concepts in these courses were taught in Pre-Health courses, which made many concepts in the BHSc courses easier to grasp and understand.

What was your favourite thing about the BHSc program?

My favourite thing about the program was the flexibility of my learning and studies. I am a mother of two young children and work full time, so this course helped me further my studies while still being able to be a mom and work to provide for my family.

Can you talk about your experience with the online course format?

The experience of the online course format was difficult at first but became easier with every semester. With everyone transitioning to the online format in Winter 2020 due to COVID-19, it was easy for students like me because we were already online. There were also many resources that the university, the professors, and the TA’s would give to make the experience smoother. Additionally, taking proctored exams online was much easier than travelling to an approved site to take an in-person exam.

What skills have you developed through your time in the BHSc?

Besides being able to work online remotely like the rest of the world through a pandemic, I’ve definitely gained skills in communication and collaborating with others through online group projects. Most importantly, I’ve gained skills in technical knowledge in research methodologies and statistical analysis.

What is your favourite course that you took and why?

Two courses that really stood out to me were IDIS 280 and CANC 380. IDIS 280 was definitely helpful because it taught me the importance of patient-centered care as something that should always be implemented in healthcare professions. CANC 380 was one of my favourites because it opened your eyes to something that many people unfortunately experience and it detailed how cancers can come to be, which I found to be very interesting.

Do you have any tips or advice for students in the program (or entering the program)?

For those completing the program, time management skills are a plus! Get a calendar or use the calendar app on your computer/phone to write down deadlines and complete assignments and projects.

Anything else you’d like to say about the program?

I am grateful that a university as prestigious as Queen’s is able to provide remote students like myself a program that allows them to further their education and career opportunities. Though the online program was difficult at times, completing and graduating from the program shows that it can be done!