Mollie Holmberg

Mollie Holmberg, UBC graduate student ambassador
Finance goes viral? Investigating the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation’s novel strategies for mending vaccine markets and preventing emerging infectious disease outbreak
Faculty of Arts
United States of America
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I love working in research and wanted to work on projects designed around the questions that most interest me.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to come study at UBC because of the strong reputation of its geography program, positive interactions I had with faculty and students in the department, and the funding package (including guaranteed TAships) I received with my admission to my program.

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

The geography department at UBC has a wide range of faculty doing work I admire in political ecology, economic geography, and other subfields relevant to my interests (which also meant there would be lots of grad students working in these subfields), so there were a lot of people here who I was excited to learn from. I also knew when I accepted my first offer to come here for my MA that the department was actively hiring new faculty in areas that interested me.

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

The best surprise about life in Vancouver has been all the amazing beaches right next to campus. Popping down to catch a sunset, enjoy a bonfire with friends, or just watch the ocean in peace has been an unexpected perk of living here.

The geography department at UBC has a wide range of faculty doing work I admire in political ecology, economic geography, and other subfields relevant to my interests. This has also meant there are lots of grad students working in these subfields, so there are plenty of people here who I'm excited to learn from.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

The best part of my geography program is the amazing cohort of graduate students I share it with. I've really enjoyed getting to know the students in my program and am really grateful for everything I've learned from them in and outside the classroom.

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

Getting substantive research experience before coming here was crucial for preparing for graduate study.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I spend a lot of time exploring new places to eat with friends, cycling and running, and curling up with a cup of tea over Netflix. I'm also lucky enough to live someplace that has a garden, so learning the ins and outs of gardening has been loads of fun!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Take time to find and build quality relationships. Having strong support networks is crucial for getting through grad school, and it can take lots of different forms - residential communities, families, academic cohorts, mentors/mentees, extracurriculars, and more. There's no one right way to build these relationships. Also, make both your physical and mental health a priority. Obviously, this will look different for everyone. Know that struggling with health at some point during grad school is not unusual and that you should not shrug off health concerns just because they're common or inconvenient to deal with.


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