Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
When I started my master's degree, I did not think I would pursue a PhD. However, the journey during my MASc, although challenging, was quite rewarding. My interest in continuing research and the opportunity to work on a meaningful project in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team enabled me to pursue a graduate degree at UBC.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
My previous graduate experience at UBC (MASc.) was really positive. My supervisor was extremely helpful in guiding me through my graduate program and the research project, and I am glad to be continuing to work with him for my PhD. In addition, the faculty, staff, and students in my department were welcoming and supportive. The graduate student association, MEGA, also helped me build a sense of community here at UBC.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The expertise of my supervisor and the support from the department’s faculty and staff really helped me during my MASc and were the contributing factors to me continuing to a PhD.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Although a cliche by now, the campus is actually really beautiful. During my most stressful days, I would often walk just a few minutes from my office to be surrounded by a rich and dense patch of tall trees. UBC is scattered with such peaceful spots. They really helped me collect my thoughts, find a mental balance, and consequently be more productive at work.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Although previous research experience and knowledge helped me get into graduate school, the skills that really helped or that I needed to develop were those of perseverance and grit, which are crucial for a graduate program.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Do not take graduate life too seriously - learn to enjoy the process because research is usually filled with unforeseen obstacles and failures. Try to follow a healthy daily routine, where you stop work after a certain time. Rest is as important for your productivity as effort.