Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Since my first undergraduate degree, I have become increasingly interested in and captivated in the role of academia not as an insulated enclave, but as an outward-facing community that rigorously pursues lines of inquiry that overlap with present-day questions and conditions. Pursuing a graduate degree has allowed me to specialize within a specific line of inquiry while also placing me in focused conversation with a larger and more diverse community.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I completed an honours degree at UBC and was grateful to receive rigorous training in literary theory as well as establish meaningful and formative connections with staff and faculty. Additionally, I have lived most of life in the Lower Mainland and appreciate the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree while remaining close to my family and friends.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
For me, it was a combination of a world-class faculty and staff with burgeoning opportunities for cross-disciplinary work. In particular, the recent formation of the graduate program in Science and Technology Studies (STS) was an exciting opportunity to be a part of and contribute to forums that bring together scholars from diverse fields.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Considering I have lived a large chunk of my life in Vancouver, I can't say I have been too surprised about it. However, what surprised me most about UBC was the support I have received. There exists a stereotype that larger universities can sometimes be impersonal. While I don't dismiss the importance of personal initiative, I have found a wealth of support and encouragement from the UBC community.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Over the past 15 years, I have worked in a variety of roles that have required a large amount of personal initiative, self-discipline, and goal-setting, from direct sales and marketing to self-starter business, to various forms of coaching (my current side job is as a personal trainer). Because nobody will do your research for you, academic life often hinges upon the above certain skills. However, it is never too late to acquire them!
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Grow in skills that will more likely bring about success! In particular: -push yourself through articulated goals -learn how to be self-disciplined -stay open to and cultivate relationships in your academic community (and beyond) -know what grounds you