Finding Value in the URBEST Career Story Seminars
By Marcela Mireles Ramirez, Postdoctoral Researcher in Biomedical Engineering
After joining UR as a postdoc, I started attending the Career Story Seminars sponsored by URBEST and found them interesting and very helpful. The professionals sharing their stories have varied backgrounds and have gone on to very diverse endeavors. The seminars are always an open conversation so they are never a waste of time. The stories are not only interesting, they are also full of great advice on how to build a career. Plus, you get break from work, a cup of coffee, and a snack. A pretty good deal thanks to Tracey Baas.
When I was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas, we did not have the opportunity to learn from alumni and their career stories. Well, the opportunity exists now. Last year, I started an alumni association for the department I graduated from at UT Dallas. Its official mission is to provide an open channel of communication between alumni, current students, faculty, and staff. Its underlying mission is to pass on advice from alumni who share their career stories by being featured in a newsletter or giving a seminar. You can read more about the UT Dallas Alumni Association and check out the Career Stories here: https://mse.utdallas.edu/mse/connect/mse-alumni/
Starting these career stories at my alma mater requires a few emails and a couple of hours every month but has had the unintended consequence of helping me build my own network. I am the kind of person that thinks networking is painful but I am about to tell you of its importance. If you do not enjoy it either, you may feel compelled to stop reading but stick with me for a moment. Here is the number one reason why I think having a network is a must: knowing people gets you places. I have heard many career stories and although they are very diverse one constant remains, a network was in place. Now that may sound really formal but it can actually take many different forms including the someone that knew someone else that had a connection in another place that heard a particular department was considering hiring. Very rarely do I hear “I found an opportunity on Indeed and applied online”. So get yourself a network.
I am very grateful towards UR, the URBEST program, and particularly to Tracey Baas. The opportunities offered are very well put together and of top quality. I strongly encourage anyone to participate and if you find value in these programs then spread the word and even lead the way, if not here at UR or back at your alma mater then wherever life takes you next.
Tracey Baas |