Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After enjoying 3 years of undergraduate research between the University of New Brunswick and the University of Birmingham, pursuing a graduate degree was a natural step for me in my career. The idea of working on a problem that very few people have addressed is very appealing to me, and making discoveries that add to the fundamental understanding of microbiology is exciting to say the least.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC because it has a strong standing in research output, and so far that impression has not changed. In addition to the research, Vancouver provides a lot to keep a strong work-life-balance for individuals like me that enjoy any sort of outdoor activity.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I decided to study at UBC because the Microbiology and Immunology program grants fantastic exposure to the different views of disease from the perspective of different pathogens and hosts. This manifests itself through seminars that cover a very wide range of topics which all students in the program are invited too.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I was surprised about how big the campus is and how bike-friendly the city is. Coming from a small town of 75,000, adjusting to a bigger city was a surprise in itself.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
One of the aspects of graduate school I have enjoyed the most is the ease in which you can learn new tools and skills. The flexibility of graduate school allows for many explorative collaborations that make branching into new fields very possible.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
For me, having previous research experience in different environments was important and allowed me to adjust well to graduate school.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
For fun, I enjoy playing badminton or other racket sports year round. In the Summer, I enjoy hiking and visiting the beach while in the Winter I love to ski at the local mountains.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
My advice to new graduate students would be to make sure you maintain a good work-life balance and don't be afraid to take a break from your work when you get stuck. Recognize when burnout is setting in and use the proximity of the mountains and ocean to go on hikes or relax at the beach. I have found allowing yourself to reset once in a while is important in a post-graduate degree.