Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have been interested and involved in research for many years and wanted to obtain a doctorate to reflect my passion for and dedication to the discovery of new knowledge related to human biology in disease, which will hopefully help to improve the health of people around the world.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I chose UBC for several interrelated reasons. As a leading university in Canada, a graduate degree from UBC is highly recognized across Canada and internationally. UBC also has a wide variety of funding opportunities for graduate studies, which are rewarding both for building a CV for future career stages and for enjoying life outside of research. Lastly, the UBC Vancouver campus is also breathtaking - to be able to go for a walk from the lab down to the beach and enjoy a fresh ocean breeze is something I find to be very special!
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Biochemistry & Molecular Biology program is a rigorous training program consisting of top tier labs. For me, it was the Overall lab that attracted me to this program at UBC. As a high-end lab consisting mostly of post-doctoral fellows and full-time staff with decades of experience, the Overall lab is providing me with a world-class training opportunity that I sought out given my extensive prior research experience.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise for me about UBC is how massive the campus is and how much variety there is in its landscape. No matter how busy the university is, one can always find a peaceful place to clear their head - it just might take a bit of a walk to get there.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Graduate school at UBC is very demanding, and two of the most useful skills to have/develop are time management and efficiency. Prior to starting my PhD studies at UBC, I obtained a BMSc from Western University and an MSc from McMaster University, and throughout both of these programs, I maintained a part-time job and was involved in extracurriculars/volunteering, which helped me to develop time management and efficiency skills by necessity. I feel that these skills are essential in life to get the most out of whatever one does, and the sooner one can develop these skills, the better off one will be in graduate school at UBC.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
In the winter I enjoy skiing at Whistler, and during the rest of the year, I like to explore the great outdoors by hiking or fishing (or both!).
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My biggest advice would be to highlight the fact that graduate school is a rollercoaster (for nearly everyone, in one way or another), there are incredible highs and challenging lows, and the most important thing is to know who you can talk to and what you can do to help yourself work through those tough patches. Whether it is going for a hike, or painting, or talking it out with your closest friends or family, having these outlets is extremely important!