Sally Innis

 
Designing Risk Profiles of Canadian Tailings Storage Facilities
 
One of the most surprising elements of UBC is how easy it is to find a community. There are so many opportunities to become involved in clubs or student groups at UBC, even as a graduate student. From my experiences at UBC, putting a little bit of effort into joining a club or meeting new people ends up resulting in a lot of new friendships and experiences.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I have always wanted to pursue graduate studies. Academia has always been incredibly appealing to me. Pursuing a MASc., and soon a PhD allows me the freedom to feed my curiosities, think outside the box and work with a wide range of peers.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC has always been a part of my life. My mother worked at UBC, and all my siblings and I completed undergraduate degrees here. My mother, who always had a hoard of graduate students, taught me that a student’s relationship to their supervisor is a major component to success in graduate school. UBC is a phenomenal institution, but I chose to return to UBC because of my supervisor.

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

I enrolled in Mining Engineering because of my supervisor’s appointment in the department. NBK Institute of Mining Engineering has a phenomenal faculty and staff. At the same time, the department is bringing on new faculty that focus on risk, new technologies, and innovation to an industry that can be quite reluctant to change.

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

One of the most surprising elements of UBC is how easy it is to find a community. There are so many opportunities to become involved in clubs or student groups at UBC, even as a graduate student. From my experiences at UBC, putting a little bit of effort into joining a club or meeting new people ends up resulting in a lot of new friendships and experiences.

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

The aspect of my graduate degree I have been enjoying the most is developing new skills. I found when I was working in industry it was hard to convince my bosses that I needed to spend my time and their money to learn new skills, such as coding. During my experience in graduate school, I have been able to take new courses, and my supervisor supports me in exploring and developing these skills. For example, I have learned to code in R-Language and qualitative research methods.

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

Before enrolling in my Master’s program, I worked in four very different positions. I gained incredibly valuable experience, technical and transferable skills from these positions. Most importantly, I feel as though each position gave me more perspective on the career path I want to pursue and research I want to complete. I think those experiences grounded me, and I am more focused in my life than I have ever been.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I am an avid baker and I love to cook. I spend a lot of time with my best friends, listening to music, cooking and eating.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

If you have to take the 99 B-line, try to catch it either right before or right after the morning undergraduate class rushes. Also, it's easy to get trapped in a UBC bubble. The campus is beautiful, and everything you need is either on or near UBC. However, I think exploring Vancouver is so essential for people coming to UBC. Take advantage of the fantastic (albeit sometimes crowded) public transit system and explore the city because you'll find that there is something for everybody.

 
 
 

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