By Jim Hynes
Joëlle Guillet has just earned a BSc in Environment, but the 24-year-old native of St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu is pretty much all business.
From the frayed bottoms of the jeans that poke out beneath her black graduation gown and her no-nonsense demeanour, you get the impression she’d rather be out in the field working than posing for pictures with a square cap on her head. There is work to do, after all.
And hard work, it would seem, is what Guillet is all about, and what led to her winning the Ping Kwan Lau Convocation Prize and graduating with Great Distinction and a place on the Dean’s Honours list (with a
G.P.A. of 4.0).
While her parents beam with pride at her accomplishments, Guillet takes it all in stride. As for the secret to her success, it’s really not much of a secret at all.
“I worked all the time. I didn’t really take any time for myself on evenings or weekends. I didn’t go out or anything,” she said. “I guess I’m the type of person who really likes to get deeply into the things I’m doing.
I really can’t stand not doing things as well as I can. These past three years were pretty stressful for me because I’m a perfectionist, I wanted to do my best.”
Degree now in hand, Guillet can afford to relax a little – but she probably won’t. It’s not in her makeup. But with her work ethic, you get the impression she’ll succeed at whatever she does, including her next project,
renovating a house she and her boyfriend own near Sherbrooke.
“One day I’d like to buy land and live in a more ecological, sustainable way, maybe grow some vegetables, live a simple life,” she said.
As for further studies and career plans, Guillet said she might want to pursue a Master’s
degree in the future. Her dream job, she said, would be to work for an international environmental
or animal welfare organization one day.
The Ping Kwan Lau Convocation Prize is awarded by the Faculty Scholarships Committee to a final year undergraduate student registered in a program offered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and an interest and desire to pursue graduate studies, preferably at McGill University. It has a value of $500.