Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
During my undergraduate degree in biology, I really enjoyed learning about the complexity of biological systems. However, I found myself constantly asking questions and wanting more. I have always been curious to discover how and why things occur and decided I wanted to pursue graduate studies. When deciding which route to take, research-based or course-based, I put a lot of thought into how I like to learn and what motivates me to learn. I chose to pursue a research-based master's program because it allowed me the flexibility to choose what I want to explore and to ask and seek answers to the specific questions that came up for me.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I grew up in greater Vancouver and have always loved living here. The fact that Vancouver is home to an incredible university, UBC, is just the icing on the cake. I love the beauty and variety of culture that Vancouver has to offer and UBC encompasses both those things. UBC has a beautiful campus with an extensive variety of ways to enhance both the academic and non-academic portions of your life.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Experimental Medicine is a really unique program because there is a huge variety in projects being explored by the students in this program. Having the opportunity to engage with peers from such a large variety of work was a big attraction for me. It allows me to explore new topics and learn about a large variety of research happening at UBC. These exposures have helped me to approach my own project in different ways and gain new perspectives on how different projects can be connected.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I think the best surprise for me was that even though I grew up in greater Vancouver, going to UBC still provided a variety of new experiences. I discovered many new places to eat, have fun, and explore. I was also able to connect with peers from other places and learn about their experiences and cultures.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
For me, the things that have best prepared me are bits and pieces from the variety of experiences I've had throughout my life. I have worked in retail, serving and hosting at restaurants, leading a youth group, volunteering with research projects, completing my BSc, and many other general life experiences.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
For fun I like to go on nature walks and/or hikes. The Greenheart Treewalk at UBC or the trails in the UBC Endowment lands are great for that. I also like to spend time with my dog. If you are a fellow pet lover but don't have a pet with you at UBC, the Bunny Cafe and Cat Cafe in Vancouver are great places to spend some time with furry friends. I also love game nights with friends, sometimes we stay in and other times we'll go to places like The REC Room in Burnaby.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My biggest piece of advice would be trust yourself and take time to take care of yourself. It can be easy to feel lost and overwhelmed when starting something new like graduate school, but trust yourself and the choices that lead you here. Additionally, don't forget to take time to take care of yourself. Set appropriate boundaries that allow you to have a work-life balance that is comfortable for you.