New career forecast for Chinese weather expert

When you meet Lauren Fu, you can’t help be moved by her warmth, sincerity and enthusiasm.

Fu, originally from northern China and a former weather forecaster, is a mature student at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster campus. Despite her tiny stature and gentle disposition, she is a perfect fit with her classmates in the heavy oil power engineering (HOPE) program.

“I love working with my hands,” says Fu. “I enjoy working with mechanical things and seeing how things work. When I was a little girl, I would follow my father around to see what needed fixing. He was a farmer so there was always lots of equipment and machines around that I could take apart and put together.”

Fu came to Canada in 2010. She is currently in her second year of studies. In her first year, she made the Dean’s Honour Roll. Last semester, her grade point average was near perfection at 3.93.

“I study a lot and work hard,” says Fu. “I enjoy all of my classes and I liked my first practicum experience. The instructors and all the college staff are great. They are always there when we have a question or need extra help. The students in the class are excellent too. We help each other with assignments and homework and work together to do well.”

She also works as a peer tutor at The Learning Centre at the Lloydminster campus.

“Peer-tutoring is very good. It’s very rewarding to help someone,” says Fu. “When a student is struggling, they feel like they can’t pass, but after they get some tutoring, they feel like they can pass. I love to see the relief and happiness on their faces when students can do a question and do it right.”

Fu decided to come to Canada after being persuaded by her sister who immigrated to Canada earlier. While Yu enjoyed her old career as a weather forecaster at a Chinese airport, she is happy that she decided to retool her skill set and launch a new career.

“Canada has so many opportunities to earn a good living. It is a clean country and I even enjoy the cold – it’s not too much different from what I knew in China.”

Fu now feels settled into her Canadian lifestyle but it took some time.

“It took awhile to adjust and I still miss my family – and Chinese food – very much. My parents and brothers and sisters are still in China. I stay connected with my family over the Internet—Skype, text or email. Sometimes it’s once a week, sometimes it’s once a day. It depends what is happening,” she laughs.

When Fu is not studying, she enjoys going to Rustlers games, watching television, shopping, and being with friends. She also played an important role as an interpreter between Lakeland and Chinese officials when a Chinese women’s team came to visit the Lloydminster campus to play the Rustlers team in December.

“She did an outstanding job,” says Phil Allen, vice president of student services and advancement. “She truly is a great example of determination, hard work and enthusiasm.”

Photo: Lauren Fu in the HOPE lab at the Lloydminster campus.

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