Alice Palmer was a participant in the 2017 UBC Three Minute Thesis competition, with her presentation, “Bankrupt or Biofuture? Strategic Change in the Pulp and Paper Industry”.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I had been toying with the idea of doing a PhD for a long time - over a decade, actually. Finally, the voice in my ear saying "I really want to do this" overwhelmed the voice making excuses not to. Doing a PhD may not actually find me a better job - but if I don't try it, I will never know.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I study the field of forest products business management, and UBC is one of a very small group of universities that have programs that address this. My supervisor, Dr. Dave Cohen, was doing work on forest industry business transformation and I found his big-picture approach intriguing. Furthermore, I was already living and working in Vancouver, so studying at UBC enabled me to continue consulting on a part-time basis.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I have been working in the forest industry for 20 years - this has been both a benefit and a curse to me, as I have had to relearn how to communicate like an academic.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Anything outdoors (as per most forestry students). Also, I play French horn in a couple of community bands.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Find out how your faculty, department, and/or graduate student association communicates (emails, posters, social media etc.) and stay up-to-date! In our faculty (forestry) we get a weekly e-mail of info about events, scholarships, job opportunities, free stuff, and important reminders. Don't miss out!