Alumni of the Month: Peter Wizinsky

November 2, 2018 - 11:00am

Meet Peter Wizinsky, Vancouver Island University’s first Bachelor of Science in Math graduate since the new major option came into effect this year. Peter, who will walk across the stage on February 1, 2019, wasted no time transitioning to the workforce after completing his last course in April. He is now Tilray’s Packaging Materials Co-ordinator.

Born and raised in Nanaimo, Peter appreciated the ability to finish his education in his hometown – in fact, he delayed graduation so he could put the new Math major, which came into effect this September, on his credential. Highlights of his time at VIU include pointing out any errors his professors made during class, and correctly answering a question on last year’s William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition – an undergraduate competition widely considered to be the most prestigious university-level mathematics competition in the world, and also extremely difficult (the median mark is often 0/120 despite being attempted by students specializing in mathematics).


Why did you choose VIU for your post-secondary studies? 

I chose VIU because it was close to home so I wouldn’t have to move to attend, which helped keep rent costs down.


Your professors tell us you took particular delight in pointing out errors they made during class. Why was it important to you to do this? 

It wasn’t so much taking delight in them, as seeing the errors bugged me a bit. Although I can’t really deny there was some fun in spotting them when they popped up. Plus, if left uncorrected that might cause confusion when learning/working with things like modular arithmetic.


You correctly answered a question on last year’s Putnam Mathematical Competition, a challenging, six-hour-long, North America-wide competition for undergraduates for which the median mark is normally 0/120. How did that make you feel? 

I was pretty excited, though that excitement was tempered quite a bit by not getting the question that I thought I had gotten.


You delayed graduation so you could graduate with the Math major. Why was this important to you? 

There weren’t any other majors I could really go for, and I had been hoping it would push me towards a career using mathematics.


You’re now Tilray’s Packaging Materials Co-ordinator. How did you hear about this position and what made you apply?

I first heard about Tilray from a job fair that happened a couple months or so ago. I gave my resume to the person who was at the Tilray booth, and ended up getting a call letting me know there was a position available that they thought I might be good for. I applied and got the position.


Can you walk me through your average day?

It’s hard to say what an average day looks like, as things tend to vary quite a bit. Some days it can be quite a bit of printing labels for products, which starts with printing a few test labels and getting them checked by several people to make sure the information is accurate. Others can be a bit more inventory heavy, such as working to keep track of label counts.


What do you like most about your job?

What I like most so far is having a really good supervisor who is supportive, took the time to show me how to do things and has my back.


If you could do anything else, what would you do?

My goal is to do something a bit more math-related, such as a cryptographer, mathematician or maybe some kind of analyst. But not a teacher as I’m not really cut out for it.


What’s next?

I’m not really sure, I’m terrible with these kinds of questions. For now, I guess it’s just working in this position and seeing how things fare.

Tags: Math | Our Alumni