How do you apply what you learned at UWaterloo?
Without a doubt, my time as a doctoral candidate at UWaterloo provided me with the knowledge and methodological skills to actively pursue a career in academia. But, perhaps more importantly, the more "informal" lesson that I learned from the one-on-one interaction with faculty members in the Department of Sociology granted me unique insight into what it takes to prepare for and succeed in a career in academia. I am grateful for the unwavering professional and personal support that was offered to me by the faculty members of the Department of Sociology, which was invaluable in preparing me for my post-graduation career.
Do you have any memorable teaching moments or courses?
The most memorable course for me was the professional development seminar offered by the Department of Sociology to doctoral students. It was during these seminars where I truly learned what it takes to succeed as a graduate student. The professional development seminar was also where I truly began to feel like a part of the department. Not only was it a chance to interact with my peers, but it exposed me to the areas of expertise offered by various faculty members in the Department of Sociology.
What advice would you give to current students?
David has "several nuggets of advice" for current students. David stresses the importance of developing a career plan early on. As David notes, the "sooner you have a clear plan for you research and career aspirations, the easier it will be to invest the time and effort towards reaching those goals".
David also encourages students to put themselves "out there" and network with faculty members, many of whom are experts and well-connected in their perspective fields. In David's words, the "professional relationships you form during your doctoral studies will play dividends when you are close to graduating".
David's final "nugget" of advice is to take a "two birds, one stone" approach to your training. Every class, TA or RA assignment, course paper, and conference presentation should put you one step closer to finishing the program.