Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
Following the completion of the MA program in Counselling Psychology at UBC, I was excited to gain some hands-on clinical experience and began working as a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a focus on childhood anxiety. Although I was enjoying and learning from my work with clients, I had a growing desire to expand my capacity to better serve them. As time passed, I also began to miss engaging in research and had many unanswered questions. I felt that returning to graduate studies would allow me to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the area of childhood anxiety, and provide me with the environment to support my growth and, ultimately, benefit clients.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I had a wonderful experience during the Master’s program at UBC and felt a sense of community, with excellent support from my supervisor. Once I was ready to pursue a doctoral degree, I wanted to re-engage in that type of supportive environment while stretching the boundaries of my clinical and research skills.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
The program adheres to a scientist-practitioner model, which aligns with my values. Being in a program that emphasizes the importance of research and clinical practice informing each other and provides opportunities for students to grow in both areas was the fit I was looking for.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Having been born and raised in Vancouver, I am no stranger to the beauty of the city. However, the campus renews my appreciation for the natural wonder of Vancouver. A walk through campus is surprisingly grounding any time of the year.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am interested in what the pre-doctoral internship will bring, both the application process and the experience itself. Being able to apply my theoretical learning and clinical training in a new, real-life setting is both exciting and anxiety-provoking.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
There are so many avenues to pursue as a psychologist, whether it is assessments, clinical practice, teaching, or research. The biggest challenge will be to maintain a healthy work-life balance while expanding the range of my professional skill set with rigorous clinical competence.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Having the opportunity to work with clients has prepared me for my program. Hearing their experiences, being trusted to work together with them, and witnessing their resilience has kept me deeply rooted in my purpose for pursuing the doctoral program. From a practical perspective, I have always enjoyed variety, whether in my personal interests or professional life. Juggling different responsibilities has taught me adaptability and time-management, which I find helpful for managing the workload of a graduate program.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
Activities for fun and relaxation are a must for grad school. Depending on the season, I enjoy the outdoors, baking, traveling, pilates, and volleyball. Volleyball makes me happy year-round!
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
While extremely rewarding, graduate school undoubtedly brings with it stresses and, at times, a sense of immense pressure. My advice for new graduate students is to foster relationships with their cohort. Take opportunities to bond with each other (outside of school, when possible) and help each other out when you can. Being able to connect with my cohort and rely on each other for support has been invaluable, especially during the overwhelming times.