Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I am curious-natured, I love to learn and I am always asking questions. Since stepping into research as part of my undergraduate honors physiology degree, I knew I wanted to pursue graduate studies. The opportunity to take on my own research project, ask my own questions and see it through from start to finish enticed me and led me to pursue graduate studies.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC's wide-array of research programs and laboratories meant that I was able to find one well-suited to my research area of interest. As one of the top institutions in Canada, the various funding opportunities available to support my graduate studies also led me to choose UBC. On top of all of this, UBC's location in the beautiful city of Vancouver is hard to beat.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My program, Experimental Medicine, covers a broad range of research topics which all focus on the study and treatment of human disease. I was attracted to the flexibility and breadth of this program because it facilitates innovation rather than being confined to a rigid program.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about Vancouver was that it doesn't actually rain as much as I had been warned. Don't get me wrong, it rains a lot but it's not all day every day. And often it's still pleasant to go outside and explore in the rain. Life at UBC located in this beautiful city of Vancouver has been a wonderful place to explore (rain or shine).
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I have loved stepping into an opportunity focused on independent-learning. It is in my opinion the best and the hardest part of graduate studies. I have enjoyed having the support and guidance to truly dive into my own research project and follow opportunities as they come. I am looking forward to travelling to Toronto to learn from experts in my field as a part of the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health, an opportunity made possible by the flexibility and independent nature of graduate studies alongside the support of my supervisor.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
A combination of my previous rigorous academic, research and leadership experience helped prepare me for the new challenges I faced beginning my UBC graduate program during a pandemic. These experiences helped me to bring an open-mindedness, resilience and perseverance which were ultimately more important than any concrete experiences I walked into my graduate program with.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Explore nature around Vancouver, read on the beach, sit down and do some creative writing, explore cafes, cook, paint or draw just for fun.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Speak up and ask your questions. You will be surrounded by people - peers, lab members, supervisors, collaborators - so build your community and lean on them for support when you need it.