BS biomedical engineering
Occupation: Client support engineer, Innovative Sports Training
Residence: Chicago, IL
Community activities: Big Brother/Big Sister mentor, Chicago Food Bank volunteer, Ravenswood Community Orchestra (French Horn)
What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?
Your friends! Ask your friends what they are doing, what they are interested in, and what activities they would recommend you check out. I've found that often my friends knew me and my potential better than I knew myself.
Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?
Professor Lerner in the BME department was a wonderful mentor when I started exploring career opportunities. In our senior year, she would send our class the job postings from an online web forum for biomechanists, called Biomch‐L. I started reading the job descriptions on a regular basis just to determine what I found interesting and eventually realized a pattern. The job descriptions I liked most all included experience with a list of hardware I'd never worked with before. Professor Lerner put me in touch with a professor from the College of Ithaca, Dr. Houck, that used the equipment and he helped me gain exposure to the hardware and ultimately connected me to the company I now work for.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
I started an internship with my current employer the week after I graduated! It was a little hectic moving from Rochester to Chicago right after graduation, but I would definitely recommend taking advantage of internship opportunities. It's a great way to explore a career path and an excellent way to develop skills that make you more marketable in the job place.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
The BME program at U of R taught me how to problem solve, to break down a question to identify what knowledge and actions were needed in order to solve the problem. It's a simple concept but I've learned through experience that not everyone has had the advantage of an education that taught how to approach a problem rather than just memorize facts through repetition.
What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?
My advice is to be open to new experiences. Don't assume you will not like something or, more importantly, will not be good at something when you haven't tried it before. And don't be too quick to judge how well you're doing when you're in new territory; it takes months and sometimes years before you can be good at a new task, skill, or job. Have patience and faith in yourself.