UBC alumnus Stephanie McGee has always loved reading, so becoming an English major at UBC was a natural choice. “Realizing that I could spend entire days talking about and reading books and plays was an amazing feeling. I chose the English Honours program because of the combination of graduate level research and the small seminar classes,” she says. “I loved the idea of spending a year working on an Honours Essay, especially working on a topic of my own choosing. The smaller class sizes of the Honours program also allowed a much closer relationship with my professors, which, in a big department like English, makes a huge difference.”
“I spent an entire year researching, writing, and re-writing my thesis, and the process was unbelievably rewarding,” she says. ” In addition to the satisfaction of having a concrete testament to all my hard work, I found the collaborative relationship with my adviser to be very symbolic of the UBC experience. Throughout the process of writing and defending my thesis, I was always aware of my professors’ support and their desire for me to be successful.”
As an undergraduate, Stephanie wanted to share her love of reading with inner city children so she volunteered as a literacy mentor with UBC’s Trek program. “As a literacy mentor, you have the opportunity to shape a child’s perception of themselves, their own abilities, and their future,” she says.
It was through her work as a literacy mentor that Stephanie decided she wanted to teach. She is now working on her master’s degree in education.
“My undergraduate career at UBC was a wonderful preparation for graduate school,” she says. “Having taken the seminar-style classes in the English Honours program, I was able to walk into an actual graduate seminar without being intimidated by the idea of leading a discussion or presenting my ideas to a small, yet discerning, group of students and professors.”
“UBC is full of opportunities and there are so many resources for you to choose from that your undergraduate experience becomes about so much more than the next four years. The time you spend at UBC, in and out of the classroom, has the potential to change your life.”