Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
My ultimate goal is to become a medical Speech Language Pathologist, which requires a Master's degree in order to practice as a clinician. However, I have always considered myself a curious lifelong learner who is passionate about combining research with clinical care. Having strong research foundations is imperative to sufficiently inform and educate patients in an evidence based manner. The SLP field is also very multidisciplinary and fairly new compared to other rehabilitation fields such as OT or PT; pursuing a more research based graduate degree gives me the unique opportunity to explore new developments in research, and to further connect and collaborate with related disciplines such as neuroscience and physiology.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC consistently ranks among the top universities in the world and is a trailblazer for innovation and cutting edge research. Academia and prestige aside, it is also located in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with an abundance of cultural and linguistic diversity. UBC also stands for many of my personal values, such as inclusivity and environmental sustainability. Ever since moving here 7 years ago for my undergraduate degree, I've fallen in love with the community here and couldn't imagine myself studying and living anywhere else!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I chose UBC for my graduate studies based on two main criteria: location and clinical experience. UBC's Speech Language Pathology program is the only one in BC, and is unique as it prioritizes both foundational theoretical underpinnings as well as emphasizing hands-on clinical experience. Clinical placements start in the first year of studies, and we are able to work with a variety of populations and in numerous settings to ensure that we enter the workforce as skilled, well rounded clinicians. The structure of the program provides me with the necessary skills to keep pace with constant changes in science, practice, and technology within the SLP field. I also was drawn to the multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that the program at UBC takes, which set it apart from many other SLP programs in Canada.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Even after being a student here at UBC for 7 years and counting, I still can't believe how breathtakingly beautiful our campus is. With every changing season I am still in complete awe of the scenery, from the blooming cherry blossoms in the spring to the vibrant falling leaves in the autumn. It's truly something you have to experience in person!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Approaching everything with humility, a curious mind, and developing critical thinking skills early on has helped me tremendously in my grad school journey. I also attribute much of my success to taking the initiative to seek out opportunities to be involved with research and working with different patient populations.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Exploring the food scene with friends, hiking, and chasing the pink sunsets!
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
The experience is what you make of it! Although I'm sure that many of us grad students are seemingly always engulfed in our studies and research, it's important to remember that that is not all that defines us. Setting aside time to find your community and what energizes you outside of school work is important for your mental health and wellbeing and in the long run will contribute to your success and happiness.