Rishad Habib

Prosocial & Moral Consumer Behaviour

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I realized graduate school mixes the best of so many worlds - the opportunity to study anything that interests me and that I care about in depth, and the support and guidance to do so in the most rigorous ways with help from some of the best researchers. Working in a large corporation was fun but I like having the time to think more and not run after profit.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC has some of the most fantastic researchers in consumer behaviour, particularly in the topics I am interested in. I also really loved Vancouver when I visited and was excited to live here.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The consumer behaviour faculty at UBC is stellar and has some of the foremost researchers in the world. They are also really friendly and helpful.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

The best surprise has definitely been the friends I've made in grad school and how much time the faculty are actually willing to give to help & guide students. Also, just how incredibly beautiful Vancouver is.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

My morning routine is now a cup of coffee and a journal article; I've always loved reading & learning, so good science is something I really enjoy starting my day with.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

Undoubtedly, as with any graduate program, it is getting a job once I am done.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

My program strongly focuses on involving students in research as early as possible and encourages us to work with multiple faculty on multiple projects. Although this can be a bit (or very) overwhelming at times it does result in a lot of projects moving forward and the option to concentrate on the ones that are the most promising and closest to publication.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I completed my M.Sc. in Marketing and Consumer Studies at the University of Guelph in Ontario and I think that was really good preparation for my graduate program. I learned a lot about reading papers, coming up with research ideas, designing and running studies, analyzing data and writing and visualizing results from my advisor Prof Towhidul Islam and other faculty there. My experience working in marketing at Airtel, a major telecommunication network, has also given me a strong understanding of real-world relevance and how to present information to those outside of academia.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Reading non-fiction, hanging out with my cats and sometimes other people, Netflix, traveling, biking around Stanley Park.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

A PhD is a marathon (& a very slow, long one), not a 100m race. Keep a steady pace, stay hydrated, enjoy the view, take a break if you need it - finishing well is more important than finishing first.