Jade presenting at the recent SPICES event.

A day in the life of a Graduate student: Jade Ho

August 26, 2015
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Education PhD candidate Jade offers her advice on getting involved and becoming an SFU expert.

About Jade:

Hello, Folks! My name is Jade. I am currently a PhD student in the Faculty of Education. I came to SFU in 2013 to pursue a Master’s degree in Education. It has been an amazing and humbling learning journey. I decided to continue on with a PhD because there are still many questions that I want to continue to inquire into. 

Why she chose SFU:

I wanted to be in a school where I can grow as an educator and express myself culturally and politically.

Advice for students moving to SFU:

The Facebook group for graduate students is a great place to start. I made friends even before I landed in Vancouver. 

SFU's Surrey (pictured here) and Vancouver campuses also offer opportunities to get involved.

Insider SFU tips:

Graduate studies can be isolating at times, so it is really important to foster a network/community of people that support, encourage, understand and will be silly with you. As an international student, I came to SFU not knowing anyone, but I have a great group of friends that helped each other navigate through the adjusting period.

 Also, get involved! Every department has a graduate student caucus. That is a good place you can network with people in your own area and get to know issues that concern all of us. As graduate students, all of our works are so interesting and influential. It is important to share our work with others to gain different perspectives from each other. 

A view of Burrard Inlet you can see while hiking Burnaby Mountain.

What is the best _____?

Place to study: Your department’s graduate student lounge or study room. If you don’t have that in your department, the Research Commons on the 7th floor of the Library is a space set up just for grad students to do work.
View: If studying and work is weighing you down, go take a walk on top of West Mall Centre. You can see a clear mountain view and during the night you can look down to Burnaby.  
Coffee: The Graduate Student Society (GSS) provides free coffee to all grad students. Bring your reusable mugs and fill it up whenever you want. 
Affordable food: If you want free food, look out for social events. On a daily basis, I’d probably suggest you bring your own lunch. That is the most sustainable and economic option. The Ladle in MBC is a good place to get delicious soup for a reasonable price. There are lots of options and they all use ecofriendly materials. 
Outdoor spot: On Burnaby Mountain, the trail is right in our backyard. Take a hike and enjoy the view. Meanwhile don’t forget to recognize the Aboriginal territory we so often take for granted.

A "typical" day at SFU

07:00
Alarm goes off, five minute snooze on. This is another day in my life as a full time graduate student. After a bit of struggle, I get up, shower and eat.

8:00-8:45
I am ready to storm out the door to catch the 135 bus, so I can be at my meeting on time. I arrive at 8:45. Great! I have time to fill up my coffee before the meeting starts. 

The shops and services at Cornerstone offer many dining options.

11:00
Time to text around and see who’s on campus and wants to grab lunch and do some work. Koi and Caro join me. We decide to go to Club Ilia at Cornerstone to have a nice lunch. 

13:00
We move over to the Research Commons to do work. The goal today is to write at least two pages for that paper I should have done a while back. I have three hours until class to do that. Very doable.  

15:30
I’ve sat here for more than two hours and there are only two lines on my paper. I wonder if Ben (my partner) wants to take a walk. We take a walk around the AQ by the pond. I am always awed by the majestic mountain view. 

16:30
Class time. Great class as usual, time to decompress with a beer at The Highland Pub. Now it’s time to go home and another day of grad life awaits me. 

For more information or to connect with Jade check out:

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