Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I chose to pursue a graduate degree after discovering how much I enjoy research, which was realized during my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. As a naturally curious person, research allows me to ask questions and hopefully answer unknowns. Pursuing a graduate degree was the logical next step for me as it allowed me to enter a world where I would be encouraged to continuously ask questions, learn, and expand my knowledge into fields which interest me. In addition to this, I knew graduate school would be the best environment for me to hone the skills required to become a researcher who produces quality science.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC is one of the top-rated research universities in the world. This really interested me, because I knew it would open up many doors during my degree and upon my graduation. After connecting with my supervisor, I knew UBC and her lab would not only be a great place for me to develop as a researcher and academic, but also as a person. Additionally, with one year left in my USPORTS eligibility, the prestige of the women's soccer team caught my eye.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was attracted to the department of Zoology and the Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC) because I felt my interests, particularly my fascination of the natural world, were most aligned with this department. The scope of research conducted within the department and the BRC is so vast and diverse. Given my own interests are broad and continuously developing, I was encouraged by this as I knew it would expose me to various disciplines and schools of though throughout my degree. Knowing that I would be in the same group as so many top-class, brilliant scientists of all career stages was also very appealing to me.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was not expecting UBC to have its own farm (and I would absolutely recommend checking it out)! The best surprise about Vancouver is that the views never get old.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I would say there are two aspects of my life which prepared me for my graduate program. Firstly, my undergraduate experience in the Rochman Lab at the University of Toronto provided me with exceptional opportunities to learn about the field of plastics research while also developing fundamental research skills. I was extremely lucky to have began my research career in such a great lab and I am grateful for all I learned there. Secondly, I know my experiences juggling soccer and school throughout my entire life prepared me for the time management and prioritization skills needed for graduate school. I began competitive soccer at the age of 9 and continued playing at the highest level until last year; it allowed me to play at two different top universities, win one USPORTS national championship, and to compete for Canada at the international stage. Balancing soccer, school, and life prepared me for graduate school because through this experience, I learned time management and prioritization skills, how to deal with adversity, and understanding the dedication and hard work required to succeed.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Don't be afraid to speak up in front of senior colleagues, take everything as an opportunity to learn, and practice work-life balance!