How did you get your current job? - and/or- Why did you choose this graduate program?:
After graduating with my Ph.D. at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took a postdoctoral position with Professor Laura Kiessling at University of Wisconsin-Madison. I was interested in switching gears from organic methodology and catalysis to do research that had more direct biological applications so that I could learn something new. A year into my position with Prof. Kiessling, the lab moved to MIT.
What does your typical day look like/what responsibilities do you have?:
My typical day varies a lot, but usually incorporates some combination of online research, laboratory research (organic synthesis, biochemical assays, NMR, other instrumental analysis), writing, group meetings/presentations, communication with lab members, and managing logistics. I'm responsible for developing and carrying out a research project, presenting my research to the lab and to others, and helping to maintain the function of the lab overall.
Why did you choose this degree at Messiah College?:
I chose to get a degree in chemistry because I loved problem solving and the challenging problems that faced me in chemistry classes drew me in.
How did your Messiah College degree prepare you for this career?:
At Messiah I was able to get an excellent combination of hands-on research experience (in classes, summer research, and research for credit), teaching experience (through SI & the Learning Center), and mentorship from faculty that made me well prepared for graduate school & postdoctoral research.
Is there any specific advice you would offer someone pursuing or considering this degree?:
Work hard and don't give up. Grad school is so much harder than undergrad and it was really tempting for me to quit when I failed my first test ever - but I'm so glad I didn't! My advice is to not let ego or shame dictate what you do or where you go, and just keep going after what you want. But at the same time, know that grad school/your job isn't your whole life - even if you fail at one thing it doesn't mean you're a failure.