Job title and employer:
Research Coordinator, University of British Columbia
What does your job title mean?
I help coordinate the day to day requirements of research studies
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
San Diego, California, USA
Where do you live now?
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Where did you complete your training or education?
I completed both my Masters and B.A. at The George Washington University
What you do at work?
I currently work at the University of British Columbia as a research coordinator on a team that does behavior research in public health. My position consists of managing research studies from start to finish. This includes the proposal, study design, recruitment, data analysis & interpretation, and publication. I love my job because I am always working on several studies. This means that every day is different and exciting! My job also requires a lot of outside collaboration with patients and partners outside of my day to day team. To be successful in this position you will need organizational & writing skills, some knowledge of statistics, and a lot of creativity.
I was always afraid of math and science in high school. Working in public health has shown me that there are ways to develop and apply these skills in ways that interest me beyond the basic courses taught.
How does what you do affect people’s lives?
I work in public health, so my goal is to improve the healthcare of everyone around me. The results of my research have the ability to create policy change. On my team we are often wondering how we can make people’s lives better through our research and actions. It is also very exciting to see other researchers cite your work in their own studies.
What motivates you in your career?
My work is very rewarding because the research that I do has the ability to influence health policy and the way healthcare is conducted. I love analyzing the data from our study and finding a way to create the most impact with the data collected. I also work with a lot of students and I love seeing them become interested in research. There is a lot of creativity and problem solving in my job and I really enjoy working through problems with them.
How did you get to where you are today?
I knew going into college that I wanted to complete a Masters degree in Public Health (MPH). I completed my BA in international affairs with a focus on global health and sub-Saharan Africa. This gave me a good foundation for my MPH. Interning was very common where I went to college and I interned at different women’s and global health organizations. This gave me a lot of experience and insight into what I liked and did not like. I did take a year off between college and grads school to do some traveling, which I would recommend to anyone. Check my LinkedIn profile for more information.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I like to be outside a lot. In the summers you can usually find me hiking, backpacking, and riding my bike. I also enjoy cooking and knitting as well to help me relax.
What advice would you give to a young person interested in a similar career?
Take some courses that you normally would not be interested in. I always thought that I hated statistics, but once I applied to healthcare I just realized that it was not being used in a manner that interested me.
As a female professional, how can you influence the advancement of women in engineering and technology?
Talk about it. No one is going to know about opportunities and positions unless they are shared and discussed. It is important to be open about what you do and what career pathways are available.
When I was in high school, I enjoyed…
Physical Education / Health
When I was in high school, I was someone who…
Always wanted to be outside
Liked helping people
Played on a sports team
Liked being given specific instructions
Engaged in volunteer activities
Learned best “by doing”
ASTTBC thanks Let’s Talk Science for their partnership in developing this career profile. Let’s Talk Science – a leading partner in Canadian education – is a national charitable organization committed to inspiring and empowering Canadian youth to develop the skills they need to participate and thrive in an ever-changing world. To accomplish this, Let’s Talk Science offers a comprehensive suite of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) based programs to support youth, educators, and volunteers across Canada. For more information about Let’s Talk Science, visit letstalkscience.ca.