Tseday Zewdu Tegegn
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I am always interested in learning new things and expanding my knowledge in different areas of life. I realized that having an advanced degree opens more doors and opportunities to contribute to health-related research. Growing up, I was always fascinated by blood and transfusion due to an unfortunate experience of losing an aunt from hemorrhage during birth. After completing my undergraduate degree in biology, I joined a hematology lab at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research U.S. Food and Drug Administration which allowed me to develop an interest in platelets and clotting factors involved in sealing injured blood vessels. After completing post-baccalaureate research, I decided to join my current lab at the UBC Centre for Blood Research to pursue research involving platelets, megakaryocytes, and a hemorrhagic virus (dengue).
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
My decision to join UBC was mainly because I found a wonderful supervisor and research center in the area of my interest. UBC is home to many brilliant minds that are at the forefront of cutting-edge research.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine is a wonderful program that covers many research areas with structured paths toward obtaining MSc and Ph.D. degrees.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I initially didn't know much about UBC, Vancouver, and British Columbia. I was fascinated when I learned UBC is high ranking university around the globe and among the top in Canada. In addition, UBC is located in Vancouver, one of the best cities in the world. Vancouver made me fall in love with outdoor activities and soaking up the breathtaking landscapes.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
It is a very long list, but it includes an interest in learning, the ability to embrace discomfort, the experience of working/living in diverse communities, the ability to easily connect to people, being adventurous, etc.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
I recommend students to focus on developing many life skills and character that will sustain them through the exciting, yet challenging, road of being a graduate student. I would encourage new students to work on self-development alongside their work. Lastly, I advise them to utilize UBC's various resources to maintain physical and mental wellbeing.