Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I enjoy critically engaging with texts, learning new things, interrogating existing ideas and traditions, presenting findings, and sharing ideas with colleagues in academia. I have always been good at teaching at all educational levels but particularly at the post-secondary level. After a stint in the university as a Teaching Assistant during my Master’s, I knew I needed to go for Doctorate in order to gain more research experience.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC looms large as a reputable academic institution and given its high-ranking position among Canadian universities, it was easy to choose it over others. Moreso, the university is located in a beautiful landscape, close to nature, and boasts good traffic connections through which you easily get downtown and other parts of the city. More importantly, I was impressed with the graduate selection committee that interviewed me, many of whom I had read about; hence, I knew I was going to the right place for my graduate program.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Initially, I was interested in doing a critical and empirical study of German translations of Anglophone literature. But the variety of courses offered in UBC Germanic Studies, expectedly, gives more freedom to choose a research topic outside of what I was already familiar with. Moreso, the possibility of working with an excellent thesis committee, makes the program more attractive.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The cosmopolitanism of Vancouver is amazing. The city has such a culturally and linguistic diverse population, and it's such a joy to sit in the bus or the train and hear people converse in their different languages. It's like a beautiful Babel all around you! In addition, apart from the snowy period when you experience delays, commuting to and from the campus was a lot better than I expected.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am looking forward to completing my thesis and applying for teaching jobs. I am also curious to know whether I would not take another career paths such as EDI and similar units whose work connect well with a large part of my research.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
The possibility of having to choose between taking another career path outside of academia and staying in it.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
I feel like my program (and the university), through the co-op program and other similar programs, is preparing all students to be open to both opportunities.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My years of a post-secondary level teaching career and graduate research at the university have prepared me well for the graduate program. I find it easier to navigate through the academic rigours and build interpersonal relationships around the campus.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I visit friends and watch TV. I exercise regularly and cook as a therapeutic activity. Graduate school can be daunting, but the need for self-care trumps every academic consideration.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Stay on course and make the best use of the numerous student- and research-friendly resources available on campus. Be willing to ask questions and challenge stereotypes. And if there is any need, ask for help. Nobody judges anyone because everyone is struggling with an issue or the other.