Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
After my master's, I felt it was the most logical step forward to continue with my PhD. Undertaking research in my master's showed me all the areas that are left to be explored.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC's CENES department has excellent faculty and resources that made it the best choice for me and my research. After discussing options with my MA supervisor, she recommended UBC.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I primarily chose this program because the faculty has a strong focus on Queer German Studies, and it is not your typical "Germanistik" program. In addition, the research of my peers and colleagues and diverse ways of thinking attracted me to this program. I have also felt welcomed and supported by all the faculty and graduate students during my time at CENES. I also appreciate the diverse and practical training we receive in the program.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The engagement with my peers and colleagues has been incredible. I have felt overwhelmingly supported at UBC. Vancouver, in general, is such a beautiful and lively city. The ability to hike and chill at a beach was a surprise when I moved here!
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
The conversations I have with faculty and peers have been engaging and enjoyable. I have also incredibly enjoyed working with various faculty on research projects and with teaching courses.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
The academic market for Humanities PhDs is incredibly precarious. The current market is saturated with PhDs, and there is a lack of stable tenure track jobs. As a result, staying in the academe or leaving for private sector jobs is a challenge for graduate students.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
The CENES department has many opportunities to widen our skill sets. We not only gain training in academia, but we can apply our acquired skills outside academia by undertaking a co-op through the UBC co-op program. We also have opportunities to work on various projects with faculty to gain more experience.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I owe a lot of thanks to my mentors and supervisors at the University of Victoria and Texas Tech University. Without their guidance and encouragement, I do not think I would be here at UBC.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
To escape academic life, I love hiking and going to the beach. In addition, I am an avid tennis player and a part of the Vancouver Tennis Association. I also love exploring different parts of the city and finding new cafes, stores, and restaurants.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Find a supportive and welcoming community! Your mental and physical health is the most important, do not forget to take care of yourself. Always remember you do bring something to the discussion and that your perspective matters!