INTERNATIONAL THINKING.
INDIVIDUAL FOCUS
User Tester
BACHELOR OF ARTS, 2016
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Program

Industry

Job Title & Employer

Director of New Student Transition Programs and First Year Experience, Caltech

Hometown

Vancouver, British Columbia

Current Location

Los Angeles, California

Experiences & Involvement

Why did you choose your program at UBC and what did you enjoy most about it?
I have always been fascinated by human social behavior and how societies are organized and change over time. Studying sociology was a great opportunity to explore these topics in greater detail.

Something I enjoyed was getting to use research methods to further delve into the multilayered dynamics of social issues and elements of society.

What were some of your most meaningful experiences at UBC?
Outside of the classroom, I was involved in multiple student leadership roles that helped me develop as an undergraduate student leader and ultimately shaped my career as a student affairs practitioner.

My first leadership role on campus was serving as an orientation leader as a part of Imagine UBC. After that, my role grew to lead and support other orientation leaders as a senior orientation leader. It was great to introduce new students to UBC and serve as one of their resources as they navigated their transition to post-secondary education.

I also lived in residence my entire time at UBC and served as a resident advisor (RA) for students living in Marine Drive and Ponderosa Residence. My time in residence life was truly formative, and I still leverage many transferable skills that I learned as an RA in my current role in student affairs.

Finally, my experience at UBC would not have been the same without two honorable mentions. First, I was part of the planning committee of the Student Leadership Conference (SLC) in 2015–2016. That year the SLC theme was “Make History” which continues to be a motto that I strive towards in my personal and professional life. Second, I loved participating in one of UBC’s most iconic experiences: Storm the Wall. As daunting as the wall looks, once you get up there with your team, you truly do feel invincible and this is an incredible feeling.

What choices did you make at UBC that contributed to your career success / journey?
Having been involved as an undergraduate student leader, I appreciate the significance of student development and its impact on a student’s overall success.

In 2023, I became the inaugural Director of New Student Transition Programs and First-Year Experience at Caltech, a world-renowned science and engineering institution of higher education. In this role, I support first-year undergraduate and graduate students in successfully transitioning into college and graduate school.

My work consists of leading large-scale events such as new student orientation and family weekend, and of facilitating recurring academic and social programs to ensure students have a positive first-year experience. I also manage the hiring, training and oversight of upper-year students who serve as orientation leaders, and I credit my time as an orientation leader at UBC as a training ground for my career in new student transition programs.

Outside of work, I served as a volunteer mentor through Minds Matter of Los Angeles, a non-profit organization that helps prepare accomplished high school students from low-income families for college success. My interest in this mentoring role stemmed from my participation in community service-learning projects during reading week at UBC where I worked with local elementary school staff to provide education on informative topics for elementary school students.

What advice would you give to students and alumni interested in breaking into your industry?
Personal and professional development often happens outside of the classroom, so get involved on campus with initiatives that you are passionate about. Whether this be joining a student club or organization, participating in programs hosted by the Centre for Student Development and Leadership, joining UBC Recreation, or engaging in your residence hall association, take the time to get involved in diverse, co-curricular opportunities.

While it can be intimidating to discover what fits you best at such a large campus, leverage the extraordinary amount of resources offered to you as a student at UBC.

Additionally, it’s never too early to foster connections and build rapport with professional staff working in student services by asking questions about their professional career paths and learning from their experiences.

And my last advice is that there will be tough days, but enjoy your student experience in ways that are meaningful for you.