Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Since I began research in undergraduate studies, my love for being in the lab grew day by day. I realized I wanted to be in the lab more, and to explore chemistry with the freedom and flexibility that a university research lab would allow. I also wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to teach and mentors students to figure out the career path that best suits me.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
Location, location, location, right? UBC is one of the most beautiful campuses I have ever had the honour of seeing. My love for the mountains and the ocean is overwhelming, and every time I step outside into the fresh air, I am feel happier and happier with the decision I made to come here for my studies. Vancouver is full of diverse communities which I am excited to explore.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
UBC was my top choice from the beginning, since I was drawn to a lot of the Chemistry faculty here. Many professors offered a great space to learn and grow. After much deliberation with my previous supervisors, and being told to go with my 'gut feeling', I made my decision. Coming out to visit the department and meet my would-be lab members set it in stone for me. My lab is the best support system I have, and I am grateful for my supervisor and labmates every step of the way.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The vibrant autumn and springs caught me off guard! The groundskeeping on campus means you really get to see the best of both seasons, and it is absolutely delightful.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am excited to travel for conferences, to meet some familiar faces, and make new friends! The people have always been one of my favourite things about chemistry.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My brother, a physics PhD, prepared me greatly for entering academia during my undergrad at the University of Alberta. At the time I wasn't sure what I wanted, but he urged me to try a summer of research, and I reached out to one of my favourite, most energetic professors at the time. I got the chance to work in an incredibly supportive lab, and everyone taught me so much. I worked a few more semesters in labs and got to see a variety of chemistry and learn where my interests lay. Surprisingly, I learned that I loved research more than I knew. I worked a short position as a research assistant, where I got to grow my confidence in my skills and research abilities. All of those amazing spaces helped me be the chemist I am today.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I enjoy watercolour painting, listening to music, cooking, and badminton. I also crochet, spend time with my lab mates outside of lab, run long columns that last the whole day, and keep in touch with friends and family.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Talk, ask too many questions, connect with graduate students in the groups you are interested in, and be wary. If you're not sure what to look out for, ask anyone that is a graduate student currently. We are happy to help you find what's right for you, and if graduate school is the path you really wish to take, it is important that you find a space that helps you flourish.