Mauricio Carvallo Aceves
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After a few years as a municipal employee, I started seeing areas where I wanted to develop a greater level of expertise beyond my responsibilities at my job. I considered applying to the PhD program because I wanted to have the opportunity to learn more about these topics while having the freedom to carry out a project that would be of my own design to address issues I wanted to tackle. I finally made my decision after finding the right program for me with a supervisor whose interests aligned with mine.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
My decision to apply to UBC was a combination of several factors. I found the school’s reputation, both academically and in its engagement with sustainability issues to be very interesting. I also wanted to be exposed to a new context and environment that would force me to consider and analyze new perspectives. Most importantly, though, I was drawn to my specific program and the department due to its faculty and the kinds of projects carried out by students.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I wanted to apply to the Institute of Resources, Environment, and Sustainability after seeing the areas of research, the kinds of projects the faculty members were involved in, the courses offered and the high quality of the research carried out by the students.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The campus! I had seen pictures, but they truly do not do the place justice. It is truly an inspiring and beautiful place that offers a unique environment. I feel very lucky to be able to study here.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
During my Master’s degree, I was formally introduced to green infrastructure and complex decision-making. Later, my professional experience as a municipal engineer taught me a lot about the actual planning process that goes on to actually implement infrastructure projects in a Canadian context.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Dream big. Don’t be afraid to pitch ideas you might feel are too ambitious. Chances are that you will find much more support to achieve them than you originally thought possible.