Tessa Blanchard

 
Physiological and Molecular Mechanisms of Developmental Plasticity
Patricia Schulte
Welland
Canada
 
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a graduate degree to follow my passion for research and teaching. A graduate degree has given me the opportunity to use my curiosity to ask scientific questions while being able to simultaneously teach future generations of scientists. My career goals are to teach at the university level, so I knew this was the right path for me.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The main reason I decided to study at UBC was to work under the supervision of Dr. Trish Schulte, who is a world-leading scientist in evolutionary physiology. Being mentored by a strong female leader in STEM is not only inspiring but also motivating to see that women can be successful in the field of academia.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The Zoology department at UBC has a well-established group of comparative physiologists with a strong focus on fish physiology, which aligned perfectly with my research interests. Even beyond the physiologists, there is such a great diversity of research going on among the faculty within the department which provides you with so many different opportunities for learning and collaborating on integrative research projects.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The mountains! This was my first time seeing the West Coast and nothing can really prepare you for the beauty that lies within Vancouver.

The Zoology department at UBC has a well-established group of comparative physiologists with a strong focus on fish physiology, which aligned perfectly with my research interests.
 
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Having the opportunity to complete an MSc degree prepared me for the challenges that come with doing a Ph.D. I was able to learn how to formulate proper research questions, develop my critical thinking skills, and to understand the importance of time management.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I have always loved the outdoors! Being in the beautiful city of Vancouver, I spend most of my free time at the beach or finding new places to hike or fish

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

It’s a marathon, not a sprint! A graduate degree takes time to accomplish and most of us have the wrong mindset where we tend to overwork ourselves until we burn out. However, we sometimes forget to enjoy life outside the lab and maintain a healthy work-life balance. It’s important to set yourself a schedule where you try to work regular hours and then spend your free time doing things that are of importance to you.

 
 
 

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