Nazlı Özüm Kafaee

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I have always had a driving force to explore the unknown and a curiosity that pushes me out of my comfort zone. I felt excited about working in a university environment amongst intellectual debate because I would always be rewarded and encouraged to follow such curiosity. An academic career brings together such enthusiasm for intellectual pursuits and the desire to contribute to the vast amount of shared knowledge in the world.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

The main reasons as to why I want to start my career path at UBC are the renowned quality of education and the student-oriented culture. UBC both prepares its students to respectable careers with its rigorous academic structure and provides a welcoming environment that leaves a lasting positive effect on students’ personal and professional lives. Also, UBC is situated in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its well-adjusted balance between intriguing urban life and natural beauty can provide a happy and satisfied life making a positive impact on one's academic performance as well.

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

Most of all, I was attracted by the quality of MIS research. Sauder has an exceptional team of researchers who guide me in my research as a Ph.D. student. The idea of working with and learning from such faculty is appealing. Moreover, I was excited to be part of alumni, the majority of whom continue careers in academia and hold positions at prestigious universities all around the world. I believe that alumni that have found permanent academic positions are just another indication of the capability of Sauder in preparing its students for successful careers.

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

I am still amazed by how easy it is to find affordable and delicious sushi everywhere in Vancouver :)

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

I observe my professors working on multiple research projects while also fulfilling their responsibilities as teachers, mentors, and family members. Therefore, for my future career in academia, I advise myself to definitely improve multi-tasking and time management skills.

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

I believe that my background in business studies in my undergraduate program and the technical training I received at the Master of Data Science program at UBC provided a solid basis for advanced research in Management Information Systems. I started my current program with familiarity in the topics in business studies and a robust understanding of the scientific approach to exploring data, generating and testing hypotheses, designing experiments, and validating methods.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I run and swim to relax. In fact, in the past year, I have experienced such mental relief thanks to running that I would advise any graduate student to do some sort of physical activity regularly. I am also learning how to play the piano and trying my best to get better at gardening.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

There have been times that I worked hard in order to figure things out on my own and try to make everything perfect before asking for guidance. However, most of the time, I learned and accomplished much more when I talked openly and frequently about my struggle and confusion in my projects. Therefore, I would advise all new students to discuss with other students and their advisors about their ideas early and never to postpone asking for help.