Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Over the past seven years, I have engaged in crisis intervention and outreach work with a marginalized community in Surrey, B.C. The lasting impact of childhood abuse was an apparent theme reported among this impoverished population. As a result, I decided to undertake a master’s degree, and subsequently a PhD in order to better understand how to support these individuals.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Based on my experience in the Master’s program in Counselling Psychology at UBC, I decided to continue my studies at UBC because I have really appreciated the intentional care from faculty in the program to develop well-rounded clinicians and excellent researchers. This fits with my personal goal, as I desire to become a psychologist and develop my clinical skills while also growing in my skills as a researcher.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
During my master's degree, I developed connections with many of the CNPS faculty through research and coursework. In pursuing my doctorate at UBC in Counselling Psychology there was the opportunity to continue the research endeavours that I had already invested in with faculty.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The campus is beautiful and there are an abundance of delicious restaurants to try throughout the Kitsilano area. I would recommend East is East which is a 10-minute drive off of campus or the JamJar on campus!
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am most looking forward to the 12-month internship placement I will be doing in my fourth year of the Counselling Psychology doctoral program. I will be working closely with experienced psychologists and hope to develop my skillset as a clinician and psychologist in training.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
I really enjoy variety and am grateful that Psychologists can engage in research, assessment, teaching, and clinical practice. However, I think I will have a difficult time balancing these areas and deciding which ones to focus in on.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
The program in Counselling Psychology provides training and the opportunity to engage in research, assessment, teaching, and clinical practice so hopefully, by the end of the program, I will be able to decide which one(s) I am best suited for.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Hearing the painful life stories of people living on the street and in poverty as a crisis counselor before and during my UBC graduate programs has allowed me to stay connected with the purpose and intention behind the training I am receiving. I have also been able to witness the resilience that people have despite the pain they have experienced. I hope to understand the process of resilience further to incorporate it in my future work with clients.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
When I am not studying I can be found hiking with my husband and two dogs, Chloe and Bella. I also really enjoy traveling and interior design!
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I would suggest connecting with your research supervisor and other faculty members to gain experience in different research methodologies and projects through volunteer or paid research assistantships.