Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
The true benefit of graduate studies is not the highly-focused knowledge you gain in a niche field of research, but rather the transferable skills of communication, critical analysis, and tenacity that are applicable to any field or career.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I believe that when deciding where to undertake a PhD, the choice of graduate program and laboratory should be based largely on the supervisor with whom you would be working. The degree to which a great mentor can help you grow and thrive despite all the challenges of a PhD cannot be understated. I was very fortunate to meet such a professor during my co-operative placement and decided I wanted to continue my studies as a part of his research team.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The Genome Science and Technology program is excellent for anyone wishing to explore trans-disciplinary research, and has some unique opportunities: before committing to a laboratory, you have the opportunity to undertake 4-week rotations with different UBC research teams, forming new connections and potentially finding a great supervisor to begin your graduate studies with.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Activities for all seasons - skiing, sailing, hiking, biking - there is never a month without something fun to do outdoors.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I love all of the amazing opportunities for travel my program has let me experience: studies abroad in Finland and Boston, presenting my research in Miami and the UK, conferences in Palm Springs, collaborations in Belgium... travel is an amazing experience, and there are many resources available to help graduate students study and present abroad.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Deciding between my love of Vancouver and the many opportunities to be found in other cities.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
Building connections, both at UBC and in the larger research community.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
The Integrated Sciences program at UBC. In being forced to critically evaluate and construct my own degree plan, I learned early on to plan ahead and decide what experiences would be most valuable for achieving future goals.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Hiking and sailing on the sunny days, writing and reading on the rainy days.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Stress, academic guilt, impostor syndrome... everyone experiences these at some point. Recognize that you aren't alone in those feelings, and find people you can talk with about them.