Mikael Omstedt

The politics of debt crisis management in the U.S.
Faculty of Arts
Jamie Peck
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I'm daily struck by how much there is to learn, especially about such a complex and multifaceted phenomenon as capitalism. A graduate education, therefore, seems like a great opportunity to really get time and resources to think long and hard about the questions that intrigue me.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC Geography is one of the foremost centers for research in geographical political economy so when I received an offer to start my PhD here I was thrilled to join a community of faculty, staff, and students whose work really excites me.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

In particular, I appreciated how the master's program in Geography gives you a lot of freedom to explore your own interests through extended independent research.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

I was surprised by how welcomed I felt when arriving in the Geography department. Despite 'only' being a master’s student, people were genuinely interested in what you were up to. As a consequence, I didn't just socialize within my cohort but got to learn from many grad students that were further along in the program than me.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I really appreciate the more casual opportunities to learn together in more or less formalized readings groups. These reading groups help mitigate the isolation that is such a prevalent feature of academic work and make sure that you're not simply trapped inside your own head. And since every new cohort of grad students bring with them new insights and provocations, I'm going to look forward to each new academic year in the program.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

While a graduate education is hard work, I try to make sure to always find time to hang out with friends, dance lindy hop and just walk around in the city.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

I would advise masters students to not be afraid of going out and doing fieldwork. It might be intimidating at first, but you'll never be 'fully prepared' and there is nothing that beats spending time in the field to wrap your head around a research problem.


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