Jill Zwicker

Seek out good mentors.
University of British Columbia
Assistant Professor
Victoria, Canada
Neural and Behavioural Correlates of Motor Performance in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder
Drs. Lara Boyd and Susan Harris

What are your main responsibilities or activities in your current position?

My main responsibility is research. I have a Michael Smith Scholar Award, which allows me to have 80% protected time for research. I split the remainder of my time between teaching, clinical, and service responsibilities.

How does your current work relate to your graduate degree?

My current work directly relates to my PhD in rehabilitation sciences and my postdoctoral fellowship in developmental neurosciences. My research program involves neonatal and paediatric brain imaging to examine changes in brain structure and function with rehabilitation. A key to my graduate school experience that helped me with my career was having excellent mentors. I was also fortunate to be involved with training programs in the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program and NeuroDevNet.

What motivated you to pursue graduate work at UBC?

UBC offered the only graduate program in rehabilitation sciences in the province. I continued with my postdoctoral training at UBC, as it was one of the few places in Canada that offered training in neonatal brain imaging. Through my connections and collaborations with the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Department of Pediatrics, Child and Family Research Institute, BC Children's and Women's Hospitals, and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, I was able to transition smoothly into my faculty position.

What key things did you do, or what attitudes or approaches did you have, that contributed to your success?

Being open to learning opportunities that present themselves. Seeking out good mentors. Enjoying the process; not just focusing on the product. Connecting with friends and family regularly :)

What is your best piece of advice for current graduate students preparing for their future careers?

Choose your research topic and supervisor wisely. You will be dedicating several years to your graduate studies, so you want to enjoy it! Study something about which you are truly passionate.


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