Posts Tagged Networking

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!

Savvy Seniors: Finish Strong

Posted on April 9, 2014 with No Comments

Silhouette of person at the light at the end of a tunnel

Seniors:

Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel? As Spring appears and graduation nears, it’s time to dust off your motivation and get geared up for the final push of your college career.

Advice abounds for college seniors, but here are three tried and true secrets to success in the world of work:

  • Networking is worth your time.
  • Your first job is your first job – not your destiny.
  • Professionalism will be noticed.

All of which boils down to: Find a job that feels like it could be heading in the right direction, work hard and make a great impression and solid connections.  You’ll be glad you did:  these experiences will help you to clarify your career interests and grow your skills.

So how do you land that first job? Use our Job Search Readiness Checklist to make sure you have your bases covered.  Note which areas you need to work on and make a strategic plan to fill those gaps in the coming weeks.  This is the time to spring into action and take advantage of all of the great resources here at UVM. For example, if you don’t feel confident with using LinkedIn to network, then come to our LinkedIn workshop every Thursday 4:15 at the Hub (while school is in session).

Also, don’t miss the final Senior Series Workshop:
Career Boot Camp Thursday, April 17 12-1pm at the Hub.
Special guest Green Mountain Keurig is coming to give you the essentials you need to get job ready fast.

Good luck as you finish the last few weeks of your college career and may the odds be ever in your favor.

~Kala

Informational Interviewing for Beginners

Posted on March 28, 2014 with No Comments

Two people participating in an informational interview

Not sure how to learn about potential career fields?
Start setting up informational interviews!

What are informational interviews?
They are formal conversations you set up with people who are in one of your fields of interest. During these meetings, you will have the opportunity to ask a professional questions about their job and their career, and gain insights into their industry. You can use informational interviews as a tool to explore many different careers!

How should you go about setting an informational interview up?

1. Identify people who have exciting jobs!

  • Ask parents, friends, professors, and others for people who are in jobs you are considering.
  • Use LinkedIn to network and find people who you might want to talk to. A good group to join is “UVM Career Connection.” This is a group that gathers members of the UVM community around career development.

2. Schedule the interview

  • You can use e-mail, LinkedIn, or the phone to connect with the person you’d like to have participate in an informational interview.

3. Prepare for the interview

  • Make sure to research the person’s company and field so you can tailor your questions and your conversation in order to make the most out of the time you two have.

Once you are at the interview, try to relax and enjoy the conversation. Be ready to ask questions and take notes. However, be sure not to ask for a job during the interview. Remember this should not be a stressful meeting. It should be a way for you to obtain occupational information and further your career exploration.

After your interview, be sure to send thank you notes within a day or two.

To learn more about any of these tips and find examples of communications to professionals of interest and sample questions to ask, visit the Career Center website.

~Lauren – Career Peer Mentor

Now What?

Posted on March 20, 2014 with No Comments

Stones aligned to form tiny footprintsThe UVM Job Fairs are over for this academic year. Whether you attended the fair or not, here are your next steps on the journey to gain career experience:

If you attended the fair:

  • Send a simple email thank you to employers you met.
  • Assess what you learned about your interests and skills and what employers are looking for to set a direction for your next steps. Identify your priorities and a list of organizations you want to pursue.
  • Complete the Job Fair survey on Catamount Job Link to assist the Career Center’s plans for next year’s events.

If you missed the fair:

  • Opportunities to gain career experience are on-going!  Use job search information to assess where you are and the resources available.
  • Search Catamount Job Link and other job/internship databases to identify options.
  • Connect, connect, connect!  Use your networks and explore professional associations to learn more.  The Vermont Alumni Networking Event is April 9th and the DC Alumni Networking is June 5th.

Keep the conversations going!  Delve into your field of interest. Be bold and take tangible steps toward your goals.

~Holly

Top 5 Reasons To Attend the Spring Job Fair

Posted on March 13, 2014 with No Comments

Find Job key on keyboard

  1. Bigger is Better! This is the biggest Job Fair in UVM’s history124 organizations are coming to campus to meet YOU.  It is the closest you will get to someone knocking on your door with an opportunity!  Come talk to people who are hiring and learn about their work culture and opportunities.
  2. Now IS the Right Time: You don’t need to be a graduating senior to come to the fair!  Come now! Wherever you are in your studies, learn about what is out there and what employers are looking for in top candidates.
  3. Find Hidden Jobs 80% of jobs aren’t publically advertised. How can you find them?  You talk with people!  People are coming to campus hoping to meet good applicants for jobs and internships.  Don’t disappoint them!
  4. Practice! Nervous about talking with employers?  The best way to be less nervous is to practice, practice, practice. Each time you introduce yourself and ask a question, you’ll get more comfortable and relaxed.
  5. Smile! Need a professional photo for your LinkedIn profile? We will be taking photos and emailing them to you.  Make sure your presentation on LinkedIn is professional as you use it to network with people in your fields of interest.

See you at the Spring Job Fair on Wednesday, March 19, 2-5pm.
Davis Center, 4th Floor.

~Holly & Jill

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