Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Within the last two years of my bachelor's degree, I found myself very interested in my main courses. After my B.Sc, I was eager to acquire deeper knowledge in specific areas in polymer engineering, since my program was very broad in terms of covered areas in polymers engineering. I was also eager to experience a research setting and finally came to the decision to pursue my graduate studies. During my M.Sc at the University of Tehran, I realized how much I enjoy research. Pursuing my M.Sc degree gave me a problem-solving mindset which I benefit from now in my PhD. I decided to pursue my PhD degree, but this time at a level higher than what my country was offering to me.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
A few universities in Canada accepted me in their programs. I chose UBC over all of them because of its high global rank and Vancouver's lifestyle and great weather. Studying at UBC made me realize it was the right decision.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Most importantly, the research topic of my supervisor was well aligned with my previous experiences. Research in my group is funded by the aerospace industry and graduate students are involved in industrial settings through their projects. I found this a great opportunity to engage in industry and academia at the same time.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The great variety of activities to fill your free time at UBC was a big surprise to me. I was also very amazed by the support available to students at UBC, from staff members, my supervisors and great facilities on campus.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My experience gained during my B.Sc shed some light on the field I want to focus on. Also doing research in my M.Sc helped me to realize which kind of career I want to pursue further.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My greatest advice to new graduate students is to try to be persistent in your research, make the most out of your time in graduate school, don't hesitate to use the support available to you, don't lose the balance between work and life, and have fun!