Laura Watson

Archived Content

This student profile has been archived and is no longer being updated.

 
Investigating Gender Differences in Leadership Profiles of High Performance Coaches
Dr. Maria Gallo
Port Moody
Canada
 
I was looking for a program that met the needs of me seeking education opportunities to support my role in high-performance sport in Canada. I also needed something that met my very inconsistent travel schedule, and very honestly this is what put this program front and center for me.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I was looking to go back to school to further my knowledge and education. I love learning and growing and getting better. It wasn't a matter of if, but when and what. I took my time deciding where to go and what to do.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I had done my undergrad at UBC and attended the Sauder School of Business, so I was familiar with the quality and reputation of the school. The program I attended was only offered at UBC, so it was an easy decision with that background information.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

I was looking for a program that met the needs of me seeking education opportunities to support my role in high-performance sport in Canada. I also needed something that met my very inconsistent travel schedule, and very honestly this is what put this program front and center for me. Everything else I looked at (MBA's, EMBA, other Master's, etc.) had schedules that I couldn't make work.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

How incredibly applicable the program was to my daily work life, personal life, and how effective it was at equipping me with skills to further advance my career.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I enjoyed networking, connections, and ongoing career support. The area of greatest curiosity, at the time, was a better understanding and connection to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and programming.

What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?

Not just in the reflection of the current pandemic, but I think the concept of "leadership" is being redefined to expand to involved leaders in all directions. Each generation is not only leading the one after them but the one before them, and we need to be more open to understanding and embracing this concept.

How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?

I hope that the program has continued to evolve to embrace this, but the empowerment of students in this program to stand above what "has been done" in their sports and reach beyond to new concepts needs to be the leading outcome of the program.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

I had an undergrad in a related field and have always worked in the area of coaching and sport. This was a natural evolution from where I began. In addition, I had already been a remote worker so the virtual nature of the program was not a challenge for me where it may have been a significant adjustment for some.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

Swim, paddleboard, be outdoors, and spent time with my enormous 120lbs, 1.5yr old Bernese Mountain Dog "puppy", Murphy. I have also done some wine education through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and would like to continue to do more certification in this area.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Get to know your Cohort, they will be your biggest support network throughout the program, and one of the best things you will take away in terms of lasting friendships. The networking opportunities between all the sports and connections are outstanding.

 
 
 

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