Posts Tagged alumni profile

World of Work: Anh-Thu Ngoc Lam ‘11, Christopher A. Walsh Laboratory, Boston Children’s Hospital

Posted on May 2, 2014 with No Comments

Anh-Thu Ngoc Lam headshotAnh-Thu Ngoc Lam ‘11
Research Technician, Department of Genetics and Genomics
Christopher A. Walsh Laboratory, Center for Life Science, Boston Children’s Hospital
Major: Biochemistry and Spanish, Honors College
Graduate Program: Human Genetics & Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Fall 2014)

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

Apart from a handful of basic technical duties that I am in charged of in the lab, I work closely with MD and PhD Post-Doctoral fellows to develop their research projects. I am part of a team whose goals are to discover genetic mutations involved in various brain malformation diseases in humans. Our goal is to uncover the genes involved in brain development and to better understand how these genes regulate brain functions.

By studying individuals affected with these conditions, we are able to identify the associated genes and their mutations. From that information, we can try to understand how those genes affect various biological processes in regards to brain development. We use MRI to help us see and confirm the structural abnormalities and guide us to a better understanding of the site of action and the function of the gene(s) involved. We hope that this will lead to better options for diagnosis, management and treatment for affected individuals and their families.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Get yourself involved in research early on in your undergraduate careers by taking the initiative. Speak to your professors about internships, summer research opportunities, and available science grants that you could apply to. Gaining research experience will benefit a lot when it is time to job search or go on to graduate studies.

Find a good adviser who will nurture you academic and scientific growth. There are two UVM professors that I must thank for their continuous support and guidance from when I first started at UVM, to entering the work force, and even till today as I prepare to transition into my PhD education. The first is professor is Dr. Bryan Ballif of the Department of Biology who accepted me into his lab even with no prior research experience. He personally taught me lab techniques and was also part of my thesis committee. The other professor is Dr. Carmen Pont who taught some of my Spanish and French classes. They both have been my perpetual guides as I attempted to navigate my myriad of academic interests, encouraging me to pursue what excites me most, to follow through with what I am passionate about. People, especial mentors, are the most valuable resources! Network and build connections everywhere you go and with everyone that you meet!

How did your time at UVM, both in and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position? My time at UVM was transformative. UVM opened my eyes to many educational possibilities. As a dual degree student, I had access to a balanced exposure of both arts and sciences through two well-established departments: Biochemistry and Romance Languages and Linguistics. I was able to take classes with faculty and classmates who represented a rich spectrum, from top scholars and researchers to passionate and enthusiastic students. Through the Honors College, I was given the opportunity to collaborate with a very dynamic group of scientists early on and by defending an Honors Thesis, I learned to effectively and successfully communicate my research not only to specialists, but also to nonscientists by modifying my explanations according to my audience.

Outside of academics, I was part of the UVM Taekwondo Club and MEDLIFE, which I still continue to be a part of long after graduating. I was also a part of the choir at the UVM Catholic Center and volunteered at the Fletcher Allen Hospital Pediatric ward right on campus.

UVM provided me with an environment to meet people from different backgrounds, all with something to teach me. I am grateful for the quality education that I have received at UVM and will continue to build on the solid foundation wherever life takes me.

What is your favorite part of your work? Most challenging part?

During my time as a research technician at Boston Children’s Hospital, I have seen the excitement of searching for new knowledge and have learned the pivotal role science plays in the advancement of medicine. Though I have faced many frustrations and numerous failures at the bench side, it is with determination and persistence through the frustrations and failures and seeing a project through its entirety balanced with the implications of the results that truly make the dedication rewarding. Knowing that I play an integral role in the research that is being done and seeing the results help improve clinical care are some of the reasons why I love my job. I am grateful to be in such a rewarding field with opportunities for continual growth and advancement in the future.

What was your childhood dream job?

My childhood dream job was and still is to become a physician scientist. I am tackling my dream one step at a time and hope to be able to accomplish it one day!

World of Work: Nydia E. Guity ’09, Fordham Tremont Community Mental Health Center

Posted on February 12, 2014 with No Comments

Nydia Guity headshotNydia E. Guity ‘09
Mental Health Clinician
Fordham-Tremont Community Mental Health Center at Saint Barnabas Hospital
New York City
Major: Social Work
Graduate Program: Fordham University – Master of Social Work

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

I service clients for individual, family, and group therapy sessions. Topics range from how to manage depressive / anxiety symptoms to how to build and maintain healthy daily routines.

Tell us about your path to this position.

I am a mental health clinician in an outpatient clinic. At this time my goal is to obtain the License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW) and start a private practice. During my time at UVM, I did not expect that I would pursue a career in social work. My plan at the time was to go back to school for a Masters in Nursing.

How did your time at UVM, both in and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position?

My time at UVM helped me become aware that social work is more than just helping people.  I learned how to work with resistance and focus on strengths in order to progress in treatment.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

My advice would be to be open minded to different settings and open to learning from every experience in the field.

What was your childhood dream job?

My dream job as a child was to be a hair stylist. I always loved helping people and encouraging them to look their best. When you look good you often feel good!

World of Work: Allie Schwartz ’11, LinkedIn

Posted on October 22, 2013 with No Comments

Allie SchwartzAllie Schwartz ‘11
Relationship Management Specialist
LinkedIn
New York, NY
Major: Community Entrepreneurship
www.linkedin.com/in/allieschwartz

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

I build and maintain relationships with our clients. I help ensure our clients see success from our tools and I am constantly in contact with them. I support a team of six relationship managers and all of their accounts. We collaborate to create a strategic plan for their accounts.

Tell us about your path to this position.

If you told me during senior year of college that I would be working at LinkedIn a year after graduation, I would have called you crazy. I spent every summer in college interning to find out what I was interested in. I learned a lot about the corporate world and myself. Through that experience I started to figure out what I liked and didn’t like and what skills came naturally and the ones I needed to work on.

During my senior year, I really started to think about what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to be in the marketing/sales industry, but that was vague. After graduation, I spent three months networking with everyone and anyone to pinpoint what I wanted. In September of 2011, I landed a job at a small digital video branding agency. Because it was so small, I took on a lot of responsibilities and learned a lot.

After nine months, I was recruited by someone at LinkedIn. I never expected to be recruited for a role, I only knew myself as an active candidate. Since starting at LinkedIn, I haven’t stopped learning. Every day there is something new to discover. For me, the learning curve hasn’t stopped. I continuously try to find new ways to learn.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Three words: network, network, network. That word was said more times in my house than any other word, both throughout my college years and to this day. From the beginning of my college career, my dad encouraged me to connect with different people in all different roles. After meeting with just one person, I would have a list of 3-5 other people to connect with. Each of those people would have a list of people for me to connect with. It was a domino effect. Just because someone isn’t at the company you want to be at, doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who is. You never know who you’re going to meet and who they happen to know. Networking isn’t just about getting a job; networking can help you with becoming a member of a board, getting a new client, a recommendation, grad school and much more.

How did your time at UVM, both in and out of the classroom, prepare you for your position?

My time at UVM prepared me for this position in more ways than I can imagine. In the classroom, a lot of my classes required group projects. In my current role, while I make my own calls, we all collaborate together on tips and strategies, emails that work and that don’t work, we even help each other make calls. Outside of the classroom, it was meeting so many different people. The majority of my friends are from the New England area and all come from different backgrounds. They all have taught me different things and honestly, made my four years at UVM amazing. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference someone from UVM in some sort of way.

World of Work: Maya Thomas ’11, GIS Specialist, Civil Solutions

Posted on September 19, 2013 with No Comments

Maya Thomas

Maya Thomas ‘11
GIS Specialist
Civil Solutions, a division of ARH Engineering
Hammonton, NJ
Major: Environmental Science (RSENR)

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

I work with spatial data and create maps – lots of maps. Most of our clients are local governments (counties and municipalities) and we provide mapping services for them. For example, we take data from tax maps and convert it to digital data so clients can look at it on the fly on our web service or on their own GIS software.

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

I really love GIS! I love seeing the things I map everyday. I drive on the roads I add to my road maps, I pass by the buildings I digitize, and I learn about new municipalities in New Jersey every day.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?
Work on as many GIS projects as you can in your coursework. Incorporate it into your research and internships. Connect with your faculty to find out about internships. From what I’ve seen, certification (different from certificates!) is important in this field. Whether a certification is from GISCI, Esri, ASPRS, or other organizations, start thinking about ways to prepare for those exams or applications. And, of course, network! Both my full-time jobs after college were gained from building connections. 

Describe your best day at work.

My best day at work is when I have tons of different projects to do. Mapping out a survey site for colleagues here, creating road maps there, updating parcels over here, and maintaining the web mapping service over there. The day goes by quickly and I feel so accomplished by the end of the day!

World of Work: Ali Peterson ‘07, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Posted on April 25, 2013 with No Comments

Ali Peterson'Ali Peterson ‘07
Corporate Giving Manager
Shakespeare Theatre Company – www.shakespearetheatre.org
Washington, D.C.
Major: Zoology/Political Science
Graduate Program: Masters of Business Administration, The George Washington University

How would you describe what you do on a typical day?

A typical day is hard to come by in my line of work, we are constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve and be innovative in our approach to our work. On the most basic level I am a fundraiser. I work to research, develop and nurture relationships between our theatre company and corporations interested in partnering with us. My work requires me to keep a close eye on business press, stay on top of the needs of our partners and manage their benefits. I also help to plan major events and strategically advance our relationships with members of Congress.

What motivates you to go to work everyday?

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a Tony award winning professional theatre company producing and presenting world-class performances of classical shows. The quality of the artistic work inspires me but I am more motivated by the way in which we are able to reach audiences. We go into every DC public school and teach kids how to embrace classical texts. We bring students into our theatre to interact with performers, designers and directors. We offer free performances every summer to people of all income levels and abilities. We do theatre for everyone, to challenge our audiences’ minds and lift their spirits.

What three words would describe your work environment?

Collaborative. Creative. Fun. 

Tell us about your path to this position.

I absolutely did not expect to have this job when I was an undergrad at UVM. After graduation I moved to DC to seek a job in Senator Patrick Leahy’s office. I secured a position as a scheduler in his personal office and did that for two years. I then worked on energy policy for over a year and finally, worked as a press secretary for nearly two years. All told, I spent five and a half years with the Senator and learned a great deal about what I want and don’t want for my career. I learned that I want to work at the intersection of arts and business and I found a way to do that by returning to school and working part-time at the Shakespeare Theatre Company on the side of my work in the Senate.

What advice do you have for students searching for jobs or internships in your field?

Great fundraisers are needed by organizations of all shapes and sizes, if you have an interest in fundraising work I suggest you read everything you can on current trends and practices, take informational interviews with people working in the field, and know the specific demands of the industry you are most interested in. Also, if possible gather some information or develop an understanding of the financial position of the company you are interested in working for.

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