Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After finishing my Masters, I was keen to continue working in research, and I had the opportunity to work with several organizations as a research coordinator and program manager. While I learned a lot and felt that the research was meaningful and important, I wanted to advance my career to a point where I could ask my own questions and lead a team of my own.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I call Vancouver home, and I found supervisors at UBC whose research aligns with my interests and could support me through my graduate studies. Relationships are very important to me, and I wanted to build on my existing networks and connections for my PhD research. While I explored other schools across Canada, for me it made sense to stay local.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Surprisingly, it was the coursework. My academic background is in a different discipline than that of my current program, and there were hard skills that I wanted to develop. I was looking for a program that had coursework that could prepare me to take on the research I will ultimately complete for my dissertation.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
While I've lived in Vancouver my whole life, I've never been a student at UBC before, so I'm looking forward to exploring the campus and its amenities. I'm also excited to find ways to commute to UBC by bike and to explore the beaches and parks after class.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
Definitely meeting new classmates, colleagues, and researchers.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Like many PhD candidates, I would love to find a tenure-track position and continue in academia after finishing my graduate studies. Finding the right fit will be a challenge.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
Beyond honing my research skills, I hope that this program will expand my networks, introduce me to new colleagues and collaborators, provide me with the confidence to put myself out there, and give me a competitive edge when it's time to enter the job market.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I wouldn't be where I am without the support and guidance of mentors. Mentors can be your supervisor, but can also include friends and colleagues who are at different stages of their careers. It's so important to have people in your life who have been where you are and understand to some extent what you're going through. Having people to bounce ideas off of, ask for advice, or vent your frustrations is critical, and helped me prepare for my graduate studies. I hope to do the same for others.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I love to garden, travel, ride my bike, and be outside. My parents live on one of the gulf islands, so it's nice to visit them and get out of the city.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Make sure to pursue projects and academic interests outside your direct graduate research project. This will give you the opportunity to meet and get inspired by others outside your network, and you never know where it will lead you!