PhD Student Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences University of Michigan
3rd Year PhD Student
North Carolina State University
My undergraduate degree was in Computer Science and I graduated from North Carolina State University. When I was younger I thought I would be an astronaut or involved with space missions once I got out of high school. In fact, I’m not crossing that last one off the list just yet!
How was your experience with STEM classes and teachers in middle and high school?
My experience with STEM classes and teachers in high school is ultimately what encouraged me that Computer Science as a major was an option. I was in a science and technology program where we were exposed to the engineering design process, binary code, C++, Java, and practical applications of what we could do with this knowledge. What drew me in was how the work we completed in class could be applied to the outside world.
After grad school, what’s next?
Perhaps industry research for a bit and then teaching. I think teaching and being able to share all the knowledge you’ve acquired is so valuable. The best thing about going to grad school is the flexibility for many paths it can prepare you for.
What do you do to unwind?
Run. That has been and forever will be my favorite activity. Recently I’ve also picked up yoga to give my body another type of exercise.
My Grad School Experience
I chose to go to grad school because I didn’t feel like I learned enough during my undergraduate career. I felt like there was so much more to know about Human Computer Interaction and I figured the best way to get that was to go back to school! I knew I wasn’t finished learning. Then again, are we ever finished learning?
Discouragement is definitely a feeling that I have battled. My way of overcoming this was taking a step back and remembering my big picture goals. I usually start by asking myself a series of questions: Why am I here in the first place? What is the long-term goal? How does this little obstacle help me grow and prepare me for my long-term goal? After reflecting on these answers I usually gain enough momentum or encouragement to keep going through the challenging situations.
Some of my biggest cheerleaders are my friends and family. It’s funny because it can be very difficult to explain the nitty gritty details of something I’m working on to them but it doesn’t matter. My team of cheerleaders are the type of people who support me no matter what; especially if they see that I’m passionate about something. They can be excited by the mere fact that I’m excited about something. At the end of the day, that is often just the type of energy I need
What do you want to say to up and coming Melanin Genius?
You got this! You may not have all the pieces figured out now and that’s okay. Just know that you can do this. You have a team of cheerleaders you may or may not know rooting for your success!
Meet other trailbalzers
2nd Year PhD Student Computer Science University of California San Diego
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