Thomas Kostelnik

Thomas Kostelnik, PhD student
Chelator Development for Radiopharmaceuticals
Christopher E Orvig
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

During my undergraduate honours project, I knew I enjoyed something about research, but I felt restricted by the timeframe, simultaneous course work and stringent project goals. Pursuing graduate studies was my way of giving myself the freedom to fully immerse myself in research topics that I find stimulating, over a longer period of time.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I went to a small school for my B.Sc (Mount Allison University) and intended to go to a large school for graduate studies. After surveying research across most major universities across Canada, I found my current Boss' research page and decided I wanted to work for him.

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

The facilities were a big draw for me. Our department has pretty well any equipment you could hope for, and most groups are willing to collaborate if a highly specialized experiment needs to be done. I also really liked the heavy research focus and minimal course requirements.

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

The student facilities at UBC are exceptional. Any hobby you want to pursue, or club/society you'd like to join are easily accessible and, in my experience, are full of wonderful people.

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

The opportunity to learn and apply new concepts every day is probably my favourite aspect of the program. Not only has this allowed me to better understand concepts directly related to my field, but I've found its had a huge impact on the way I approach problem-solving in the real world.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Ski, hike, eat sushi (classic Vancouver). I also thoroughly enjoy beating my friends at Settlers of Catan.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before joining a 2-5 year program. For research-based programs, make sure you are interested enough in a subject to commit to studying it for an extended period of time. And instead of only talking to potential supervisors, talk to their graduate students to get a real sense of how they run their research group and what they can offer you as a mentor.


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