Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
During my undergraduate degree, a lab-based course and research assistant positions captured my curiosity and passion for research. I wanted to continue exploring new ideas and answer research questions in innovative and creative ways. A graduate degree was a perfect opportunity for me to gain research and communication skills and build a strong foundation for a successful career in science.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I was drawn to UBC's impressive research and teaching communities, specifically in the UBC Biology Department. As I was completing my undergraduate degree at UBC (BSc 2018), I couldn't wait to begin my graduate studies in the Department of Zoology to learn from the best and expand my professional network.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I was attracted to the rigorous, diverse, and world-renowned research that comes out of the UBC graduate program in Zoology. Additionally, the student support in the Zoology program is impeccable!
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
The best surprise about UBC was the number of opportunities available for students. I have been able to gain experience in numerous research labs, participate in many student clubs, and teach undergraduate courses as a teaching assistant. The best surprise about life in Vancouver is that although I have lived here my whole life, there is always something new to do and more beautiful nature to discover!
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Gaining experience in a research lab in my undergraduate degree best prepared me for graduate studies at UBC. I began my undergraduate research in my current graduate studies lab, and Dr. Soma’s amazing mentorship and training over the years have greatly prepared me for my PhD studies.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I would advise new graduate students to find a hobby that helps them take their mind off of work for a few hours a week. As graduate degrees are very demanding, there is always more work to be done. Therefore, it is important to actively take breaks, enjoy a hobby, detach from the work and have fun! Balance is key for success in graduate school and avoiding burn-outs.