Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Robin Mazumder. I am a first year PhD student. I am currently doing my PhD in cognitive neuroscience where I am exploring how urban design impacts mental health.
What do you want to do following graduate school?
Prior to starting my PhD, I worked as an occupational therapist. I also taught courses at a small university. The university was increasingly requiring a PhD to teach, and so I decided it was a good time to pursue my PhD. Following graduation, my dream would be a professor of occupational therapy. That said, I know that the competition is fierce, so I’m concurrently exploring alternatives. Neuroscience PhD’s are increasingly being employed in the tech startup world, which I also find fascinating. That’s another great thing about being in Waterloo – we are located in one of Canada’s best startup hubs. So, I’m actively keeping my eyes open for any cool opportunities to get involved with some while I’m in school here at UW.
What kinds of professional development activities you’ve taken part in? (i.e volunteering, professional skills workshops, student association, GSA)
I currently sit on the Senate as a graduate student representative, I am a committee member with the City of Kitchener's Cycling Advisory Committee and I volunteer with the Kitchener Public Library as a Guest Librarian.
Describe the value of these professional development experiences.
Sitting on Senate is both interesting and informative. It is really cool to see how the University makes decisions about our education as graduate students; also, being able to advocate for the concerns of graduate students is a rewarding experience. Being able to serve the City of Kitchener sitting on the Cycling Advisory Committee is an amazing experience as well as I get to help inform policies and design practices that affect cyclists. I, like many other graduate students, am primarily a cyclist, so it's important to me to be able to advocate for good infrastructure. Furthermore, in my role as Guest Librarian, I am able to bring researchers together with the community and help facilitate knowledge translation. I think KT is a very important skill to have for grad students, so I am pretty excited about being able to help facilitate that process.