Mikayla Pachkowski

The role of dissociative experiences in suicide
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

There are many ways to improve the lives of those around you; I am particularly passionate about improving our understanding and treatment of mental health, and believe that both Clinical Psychology research and practice has tremendous potential to help others in this way.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to study at UBC so that I could work with my supervisor, Dr. E. David Klonsky. Dr. Klonsky is a leading expert in suicidology and an outstanding mentor. I feel very lucky to be completing my PhD under his supervision.

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

The opportunity to develop skills as both a clinical researcher and clinician. I am very passionate about both of these areas, and the Clinical Psychology MA-PhD program at UBC provides strong training in both.

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

Vancouver is a beautiful city. I've been here for 6 years now and am still continuously in awe of where I live.

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

Lively conversations with other graduate students and professionals who are just as excited about what you are learning as you are.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

At the end of my undergraduate degree I attended my first suicide research conference, where I realized that the work I had been doing as a research assistant in my lab was contributing to something bigger than what I could see. My experience at that conference is ultimately what sparked my passion for pursuing suicide research.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Spend time with my friends, family, and cat. I also enjoy any opportunity to dance!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Figure out what is important to you, in terms of your work and career goals, but also your personal life. Then, put your time and energy there. In graduate school it's possible to get pulled in a hundred different directions, and there are countless opportunities for upwards social comparison. Focusing on what you value will lead you to producing meaningful work that you are proud of and help you to maintain that sought after work-life balance.


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