Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I think there was two main aspects why I wanted to become a graduate student. Partly I knew my career prospects would improve with a graduate degree, but mostly, my undergraduate thesis work made me realize I really enjoyed research and feeding my scientific curiosity. It also led to the opportunity to participate in a wonderful research cruise, and I realized I wanted to pursue similar experiences afterwards.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I always wanted to study somewhere close to the ocean, and its hard to beat living on the west coast. UBC also has such a fantastic diversity in both research programs and people. I knew I could easily find collaborative opportunities and develop a rich, valuable skillset here.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Aside from the above, my father is also a welder and fabricator by trade, so I grew up always working on little projects in his shop. I was interested in exploring that creative side in my graduate degree, and the lab I joined is constantly designing and building new custom-built instrumentation in oceanographic applications, so it seemed like a great fit.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I think coming from a small town, the scope of different things to do in a big city like Vancouver, especially as the pandemic has eased, is pretty cool! I'm looking forward to discovering more of the fun parts of Vancouver as my degree progresses.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I think my undergraduate degree, and especially my honours thesis work, was the most critical experience, particularly in helping develop good research and time management skills.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I usually unwind by playing guitar, piano or video games with friends. I also love playing soccer, and I've recently been trying to get back into mountain biking more frequently.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I would recommend talking to current and former students and post-docs to find out if the lab you're interested in will be a good fit. I also started out as a MSc student before scaling up, which I think was a nice way to "test the waters" before committing to a PhD. Apart from that, join as many clubs, committees, sports teams, etc. as you can - your degree will be much more rewarding for it.