Iris Xie, BKin’19, MOT’21

Iris Xie (she/her) is a recent graduate out of the Master of Occupational Therapy program at UBC. She is currently working at a specialized pain and trauma clinic where she helps clients manage chronic pain and get them back to doing the things they need to and want to do. Outside of work, Iris loves to dance, golf, run, and spend time outdoors. She also loves to eat and runs a food blog @yvrfooddiary where she shares all her food experiences around Vancouver. Iris’ goals after graduation are to continue seeking out learning experiences, build connections with people around her and trying her best to make a difference in her client’s lives.

What drew you to the Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) degree at UBC?

I have always been passionate about helping people who have gone through adversity. In my undergraduate degree, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career where I could build genuine connections with others, and learn more about physical and mental health while being able to be creative and innovative. I found the MOT program at UBC to be that perfect match as the program’s values and instruction style is multi-dimensional, featuring cutting-edge research, innovative technology, holistic understanding of physical and mental health, and hands-on practical experiences.

How has studying in the MOT program made an impact on you?

This program has impacted me in so many positive ways. The support I had from faculty and peers made me feel comfortable, confident, and passionate about my studies and work experiences in the last two years. I was always encouraged to reach my goals and become a better version of myself. I learned the importance of truly taking care of my wellbeing and when I prioritized myself, the difference it made in my studies, relationships, and extra-curricular activities. I learned to actively practice appreciation and gratitude in my daily life which has made such a big difference in my mental and physical wellbeing.

What advice do you have for students entering the MOT program?

To all new students entering the program, take advantage of the next two years to try new experiences, create new memories, and make new friends. Two years goes by really fast and it’s so important to cherish this amazing learning opportunity you have ahead of you. One of the best things about this program was the friendships I made and the experiences we shared. Also, challenge yourself and put yourself outside of your comfort zone when you can! The best kind of learning happens where you feel challenged and you’ll have an amazing support circle around you in this program to help you when you need.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration through my everyday activities, especially through conversations with others and spending time outdoors. I think there is something to be learned from everyone that I interact with and through the experiences I have each day.

What does a healthy society mean to you?

A healthy society to me, means that everyone has the opportunity to do the things that bring them joy, and everyone works together to contribute to each other’s wellness. I hope that everyone can find fulfillment in each day and find meaning in everyday activities. I think this change starts with everyone adopting an appreciative lens for their life and recognizing what they have rather than what they don’t. As well as truly listening to one another, taking time to understand different perspectives and always choosing the kindest actions when interacting with others.

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