Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
In my fourth year at UBC, I volunteered as a research assistant in the Parenting Lab. I got to know the clinical psychology graduate students and learnt about all the different practicum and research opportunities available. It struck me that pursuing a graduate degree would be a really varied and interesting path to follow. In addition, being a therapist had always been a career I thought I might really enjoy. The techniques and orientations taught in clinical psychology are all evidence-based, which also encouraged me to pursue my current degree.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
My supervisor, Dr. Sheila Woody, was the main reason I decided to study at UBC. She has given me the opportunity to pursue community-based research which was my priority in choosing a graduate program. In addition, the clinical training offered by UBC Psychology is exemplary.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
UBC's Clinical Psychology program is accredited and well-known for both its research and clinical excellence. In addition, I was excited for our in-house practicum and to be trained by our Clinical Director, Dr. Ingrid Söchting.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I've been at UBC since 2010 and have yet to find the beautiful campus boring! I love that I can walk from the psychology building to the Rose Garden and look out on the mountains, the ocean, and Bowen Island (my home for 5 years when I was younger).
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
Hoarding has only recently been recognized in the DSM-5 as a mental disorder. Many individuals with lived experience and their families are desperate for help. It is very exciting to be part of the Centre for Collaborative Research on Hoarding, as there are so many unanswered questions to work on. Our research aims to better understand cognitive, social, emotional, and community aspects of hoarding behaviour.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Getting that dissertation done!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I feel very lucky to not have gotten into research until my fourth year at UBC. Prior to considering clinical psychology, I went on exchange, I worked at the English Language Institute, and I had various leadership roles in UBC Rez Life. I think having the opportunity to pursue other things before diving into research has helped me stay interested and motivated.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I love to dance, sing, and walk to the beach.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
You can't do everything at 100%. If you want to still enjoy your life outside of graduate school, it's a better bet to aim at 85% or pretty good. The clinical psychology program at UBC takes 6 years plus an internship to complete--that's a long time! There will be many moments to fail and learn, but if you open up and talk to your fellow students or the clinical faculty, you'll realize everyone wants you to succeed and can help support you.