Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I was intrigued by the realization that humans are exposed daily to several known and unknown chemicals and that these chemicals are potential threats to human and environmental health. I knew joining graduate school would allow me to conduct in-depth research on the risk of chemicals on humans and the environment but also expand my knowledge and give me useful insights into how the risks can be reduced or eliminated.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Joining UBC was a great deal for me because the University has high academic standards and a global reputation for producing cutting-edge research, competent graduate students and world leaders, and providing a conducive environment for personal and professional growth. The University has offered me a chance to work with world-class professors and students and financially support my research. UBC is located in Vancouver, a beautiful and lively city, which drew me to the University.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Resources, Environment, and Sustainability is an interdisciplinary program that covers various disciplinary research topics. My research interest intersects risk and uncertainty in chemical risk assessment, emerging technologies in chemical risk assessment, human health, and regulatory decisions to address the risks. Although my background training is in risk assessment of chemicals on humans and the environment, joining Resources, Environment, and Sustainability enabled work with diverse and experienced researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds that work on topics related to my research interest.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was surprised by the huge diversity of students in terms of cultural backgrounds and the social interactions among the students through student-led activities at the University.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I did a lot of research for my master's degree that involved both individual commitments and collaborative activities across disciplinary teams. Self-discipline, working under pressure and for long hours, and teamwork are some important skills I learned during this period. These skills prepared me to fit into the research environment under my program at UBC.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
All graduate students seem to be in the same boat. Academic activities, including research, can really make you enjoy your time at the University when you progress well with every effort you make. But this is not always the case; sometimes, you may feel frustrated in your research. Keep on trying, and never give up! Slow progress in research does not reflect your inability to do research. Do not associate your self-worth with the success of your research. Be sure not to let the frustrations stop you from having friends, playing, sleeping, and exercising. Remember to stay healthy!