Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have loved science for as long as I can remember. Throughout my undergraduate degree, I was introduced to a wide variety of science streams, from marine biology to biochemistry, before finally stumbling across the field of epigenetics. My interests were peaked and before I knew it I was looking into graduate programs that would allow me to study epigenetics full time. I saw graduate school as a chance to develop my skills as a scientist and to prepare me for future careers as a researcher.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I was looking for a program that fit my research interest in epigenetics that would provide resources I would need to become a well-rounded scientist. The Medical Genetics Program fits the bill better than any other program I had come across.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Pretty simply I was interested in the research being conducted in the Kobor Lab. I seemed like an ideal place to explore chromatin biology and epigenetics in a diverse and interdisciplinary environment.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
How easy it is to meet people. I was defiantly concerned about moving to a new city and attending a large university without knowing anyone first. It took a month or two, but by attending lots of department and university events I found a cohort of people that I am now incredibly grateful for. UBC and Vancouver both have so many events, organizations, and societies that meeting people outside of your program is also easy to do.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I was involved in a Co-op program during my undergraduate degree which gave me experience working in a research lab over several years. I also completed an honours thesis which gave me experience in conducting my own research project. Having exposure to the academic research environment made the transition to graduate school a little bit easier. It also helped to talk to current graduate students, staff, and researches before taking the plunge into graduate school.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I am on several soccer teams, so if I'm not in the lab you will typically find me out on the pitch. Besides that I also love to camp, hike, climb, which has made Vancouver an ideal place to live.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Graduate school is hard, but the thing that will get you though it is a real passion for your research topic. Choose a research group that will help you reach your specific goals and has the correct learning environment for you. Not all laboratories are run the same way so finding the right match is important! Do your research, talk to other students in your program, and prospective labs before you decide. Besides that, be willing to get involved in activities and projects outside of your research. Having some variety in your schedule always makes working on your research that much more enjoyable.