Ashley Battaglini, a clinical psychology student, works with Dr. Joelle LeMoult in the Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DAS) Lab on topics related to intra and interpersonal emotion and cognition. Her research focuses on how individual differences influence cognitive and emotional responses to stress and its relationship with anxiety and depression. While originally from Mississauga, Canada, Ashley chose to study at UBC. She is a recipient of the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Below is her interview with the UBC Graduate School.
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
During my undergraduate education, I discovered my passion for psychology and wished to learn as much as I could. Therefore, the next step was to pursue graduate education in the field, which has thus far been an immensely rewarding experience.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I decided to study at UBC for its emphasis on research and its rigorous approach to conducting research studies. Also I decided to attend UBC to work with my supervisor, Dr. Joelle LeMoult, because of her exceptional research background and invaluable training she offers conducting clinical psychology research.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
I really enjoy the breadth of opportunities available for students regarding professional development. Whether it’s an interest in clinical work or research or both, the program offers excellent training in both domains.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I think the best surprise was how wonderful the scenery is. The mountains and beaches. It’s truly a beautiful place to live. I also love the many restaurants and cuisines Vancouver has to offer.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I am looking forward to developing in multiple areas throughout my degree, including opportunities to hone skills in research, statistics, clinical work, teaching, presenting, etc. Since the options are quite vast, gaining experience and expertise in certain areas is something I’m looking forward to the most.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
The biggest challenge may be work-life balance, as with most careers. That’s why establishing that balance now will help in the future.
“My advice (to new grad students) would be to try and incorporate balance in your life, including your work schedule, as much as you can. Once creating that balance it's important to maintain it. I think that increases how much you enjoy your work and your life!”
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
The program facilitates enjoyable activities and social events for students which can help with the balance.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
I received incredible research training at the University of Toronto where I completed my undergraduate degree. I was fortunate to learn about all aspects of conducting research from creating a study idea to contributing to writing a manuscript. This really facilitated the development of research skills as well as inform whether I wanted to pursue a graduate degree. Which of course I decided, I absolutely did!
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I usually love going to the beach, watching a good show, or spending time with friends.
This interview was conducted by UBC Graduate School.