Ying Yao

October 1, 2020
Ying Yao
Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE)
Expected year of graduation: 2023

What led you to apply to APHD at OISE?
The APHD program at OISE offers world-class training and career development opportunities designed to help students engage in cutting-edge applied psychology research projects. The supportive environment and OISE’s professional mentor network ensures graduate students have all of the ingredients required to succeed in their research and studies.

What was your past work experience like?
I was an entrepreneur in public relations and media (which involved directing plays in China). In addition, I have helped a number of international enterprises in automotive, electronics and real estate with brand-building, marketing, and customer outreach. I have always been intrigued with studying the human mind and it's development.

Are there any past accomplishments that you would like to highlight?
I am proud of my past work in starting and building businesses from the ground up. I have been a big advocate for women pursuing professional careers and breaking the glass ceiling.

What is one thing you like most about your experience so far at OISE?
I am especially grateful for the mentorship I have received from my Ph.D. co-supervisors and my lab mates. The learning curve of transitioning from the business world to scientific research has been challenging. Luckily, the support system at OISE has helped me navigate through these challenges.

What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
The diversity of the city has enabled me to learn about many walks of life and exposed me to various cultural perspectives that have expanded my horizon of understanding about the study of the human mind and its' development. Toronto’s cultural diversity is a unique advantage for researchers to exchange ideas and learn from the top talents from many places in the world.

What does your “weekend” typically look like?
I try to keep my weekends stress-free. I love inviting my friends over and we cook up a feast!

What are some of your hobbies & interests (cooking, sports, travelling, etc?)
I love trying different cuisines, travelling with my friends to different countries, and experiencing different lifestyles. I love to start my day with a morning exercise; it always helps me be more productive throughout the day. On the side, psychology and hypnosis are projects I spend the majority of my time researching, learning, and improving on.

What is your favorite type of cuisine?
The unique advantage of being a “foodie” in Toronto is our ability to try many authentic cuisines from many different parts of the world. However, if I do have to pick a favourite, I have to go with Chinese (old habits are tough to change).

Where do you see yourself after you achieve your degree from APHD?
After I complete my studies in the APHD program, I intend on applying my knowledge to build a bridge between academia research and real-life applications. I am especially passionate in seeing our research discoveries making a positive difference in the society.

APHD Student
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