Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I decided to pursue a graduate degree to open up more possibilities for research in environmental governance. I was also drawn to the possibility of doing independent research on topics I am truly passionate about – water and environmental governance in cities.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I moved to Vancouver for the outdoors activities it has to offer. UBC happens to be a great school in a great place.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
Independent research and possibilities for fieldwork were most attractive to me, in addition to working with great, like-minded, interdisciplinary scholars.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Vancouver does not have a "big city" feel to it.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I truly enjoyed fieldwork the most. I did mine in South Africa over several trips during my Master's and my PhD. Being outside of my comfort zone, meeting new people and navigating complex social, cultural and political dynamics have been the greatest learning experiences for me.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
The academic world is highly competitive and it is often quite challenging to make a real impact.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
My program has prepared me by teaching me to think critically and to be brave enough to follow my hunches.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Natural curiosity and some healthy stubbornness probably prepared me best for my graduate studies.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Rock climbing, snowboarding and yoga are the things I like to do the most. I try to go outside as much as possible in all seasons.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
An open mind and willingness to challenge your own ideas about the world will lead you on a great journey – tough at times, but immensely rewarding at the end.