Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I wanted to graduate with a masters degree in journalism. Prior to this, I did an undergraduate degree in human geography and although it was interesting, I discovered it wasn't a field I wanted to work in. So I decided to go back to school to pursue what I love.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC was offering me an affordable education and I wanted to stay close to home to finish my degree. I grew up in Vancouver and love everything about the city, so I thought I would stay here for a few more years before working abroad.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The UBC Graduate School of Journalism is a unique program that offers a very hands-on education in journalism, coupled with academic rigour. It is also well known for its International Reporting Program. The program had everything I was looking for in a graduate degree.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I am still consistently blown away by how beautiful the campus is. It is such a privilege to study in a place that's surrounded by mountains, oceans, and trees.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am pursuing a research project that traces my parents' migration journey as Vietnamese boat people when they were refugees. Through this process, I'm looking forward to learning more about what it meant or means to be a refugee in today's world.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
I know everyone talks about jobs, but that is a real challenge. The reality is the job market for my generation is fragmented, unstable, and precarious - which is exciting, yet terrifying at the same time. In a field like journalism, we're expected to be adaptable and resourceful in chasing our careers. But I worry that will cause us to burn out.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
My program is teaching me to be adaptable and flexible in the field by diversifying our skills. We're also taught to embrace the changing nature of the industry and be open to new opportunities.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I spent a large part of my life doing youth work and working in activism. These experiences were invaluable, because they taught me what it meant to connect and engage authentically with our communities.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I run a lot and try to go to the gym three times a week. I'm currently training for a half marathon, which gives me a great excuse to be outside. And of course, quality time with family and friends always does the trick.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Relax and have fun. Ease into your program within the first few months and trust that you're in the right place. I also hope you find what you love most about your work.