Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
The reason to pursue graduate studies is twofold: 1) I have the curiosity and enjoyment in the research process, which can lead to answers that may greater impact others. 2) I believe graduate studies provides someone with a mindset that significantly impacts their future career, whether that is in academia or not.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
After growing up in Ontario I came to UBC for undergraduate studies in Kinesiology and continued at UBC with a Master of Science under the supervision of Dr. Jordan Guenette. My time in this beautiful place, the network (both professional and social), and the working environment have all kept me here.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Being interested in health care and having a background in Kinesiology, the Rehabilitation Sciences graduate program gave me the opportunity to continue pursuing research related to exercise physiology while providing experience in the health care field, which is important if I were to decide to shift from an academic to clinical driven career.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about UBC is the amount of collaboration that takes places within and between programs. Working as part of the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St. Paul's Hospital is a prime example of how collaboration can significantly impact the high quality of research being conducted at UBC.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
While I am just beginning PhD studies, I am looking forward to the collaborations I can obtain throughout my graduate program. Also, since the program is quite long, I am looking forward to the journey and where I might be at the end.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
While I am uncertain of the future career I want at the moment, a prominent challenge expressed within academia is the number of tenure-track positions at a University. This may be the biggest challenge but I am excited for the opportunity to do everything I can to complete for one of these positions.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
Our program provides us with amazing supervision. In particular, my supervisor has created a lab environment this is second to none. There is ample opportunity to conduct research, collaborate, and Dr. Guenette provides excellent mentorship, which I am sure will help me overcome many of the biggest challenges to a future career.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I think the number one aspect of my life that has best prepared me is the number of role models I've had growing up. My parents have always been advocates of learning and doing the things that you like. Making the decision to move across the country has made me much more independent and has given me the ability to be resourceful, which provides me with the confidence to succeed for my graduate program.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Being a former track athlete for UBC, getting outside and being active is what I like to do for fun. Nothing's better than a nice sunny bike ride on the north shore with friends.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I think my best advice is to not be scared to ask questions. I've found graduate school is a lot of independent learning but not everything needs to be independent. Asking your supervisor and fellow students questions will not only increase the pace at which you conduct research but will also make the experience much more enjoyable.