Tag Archives: grad school

Senioritis? No time for that!

Nathan Arnett

Nathan Arnett,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 14 December 2017

It is most college students’ hope that after putting in three long years of studying and hard work, that their senior year they can just carry the required classes and maybe take some fun classes just to meet their minimum hours. For me, however, I don’t exactly get this luxury.

The largest reason for this is that because I plan to pursue medical school next fall, I had to take additional classes throughout my undergraduate years to meet the prerequisite requirements. In addition to these classes, you add a personal finance class (because I wasn’t exactly the best with money…) and a couple “just for fun classes,” and here I am as a senior and I need 20 credit hours each semester to graduate on time!

The reason I’m telling you this isn’t to brag or complain or anything of the sort, but rather to make two points:


  1. Plan your entire class schedule early and well, and

  2. Find what works best for you and grow from it.


This second point may seem a little odd, but let me explain. Though I had 20 credit hours this semester on top of the other organization commitments and responsibilities I had, I found it to be one of my most productive semesters to date. There’s something about feeling busy all the time that increases my productivity and makes me more motivated to keep moving forward.

When reflecting on this experience that I thought would be miserable, I have actually learned more about myself and how I perform best. The things I have learned from this experience are things I plan to implement into my life moving forward.

Heading off to Grad School

Joshua Greenlee

Joshua Greenlee,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 20 April 2017

It’s truly a wonderful time of the year, especially for us seniors, as we prepare to take the next big step in our lives and graduate. As awesome as this time is, I for one will testify that it will be hard leaving the city of Athens that we have called home for these past years.

After graduation, I will be attending Vanderbilt University in pursuit of a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. I had applied to eight different graduate programs, and went to visit a few of them to get a feel as to how I would like the school. In the end, Vanderbilt just felt like the right place for me to be, and I am very excited to be pursuing a graduate education there.

I will be working under the direction of Dr. Michael King, a renowned professor in the field and the Biomedical Engineering Department Chair, conducting research focusing on drug delivery with translational applications in metastatic prostate and lung cancer treatment.

I am very excited to take this next step in my life, and I will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee this fall (an awesome city, by the way, if you’ve never been). This is bittersweet though, as I will undoubtedly miss Athens, the place I’ve called home my entire life. I am so thankful for all the people who have poured into me over this first part of my life at Ohio University, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds! Have a great summer everyone!

Women in Graduate School Conference

Caroline Wilson

Caroline Wilson,
Senior, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 13 February 2017

This past weekend, I spent my Saturday attending the Women in Graduate School Conference which was hosted by the Ohio University Women’s Center at Nelson Commons. My friend Stephanie, a fellow ChE major, told me about the conference because one of her friends helped organize it.

Although I was initially hesitant to spend my entire Saturday at a conference instead of enjoying sibs weekend with my friends, I have to say that the conference surpassed all of my expectations, and I am so glad that I went. There were a variety of different panels throughout the day which covered a wide range of topics: we learned about presenting ourselves professionally, budgeting in graduate school, and succeeding in and out of academia.

For me, the best part of the day was listening to the keynote speaker, Dr. Valerie Young, author of The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women. Dr. Young spent the day talking to us about impostor syndrome—that uncanny feeling that you sometimes get which tells you that you’re a fraud, not qualified to be where you are in life, and that someone is going to find out at any second.

I have to say, it was a huge relief to hear that I am by no means the first person to feel this way. In fact, around 70 percent of people—men and women—suffer from impostor syndrome. We talked about how the voices in our head tell us that we aren’t good enough, and how we should deal with them.

Within the next two weeks, I will be interviewing for PhD programs in biomedical engineering at two universities, and I have to say that Dr. Young’s talk could not have come at a better time for me. She reminded each of us that we are capable and qualified at a time in our lives when many of us are most doubtful of our abilities. I am so thankful to the Ohio University Women’s Center for putting on this incredible event—spending the Saturday with a group of talented and passionate women was a breath of fresh air and I felt lucky to be in attendance.

Where to Go After Graduation?

Jane Oberhauser

Jane Oberhauser,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 12 January 2017

As the new semester kicks into gear, I’m realizing that this is my last semester that will have this common progression: Early ease/confusion, then cruise control on the next three weeks, then progressive chaos from week 6 to week 14. I’m sure graduate school will have its own rhythm, but this is my last uniquely undergraduate semester. As I look into where I’ll be going for graduate school, I realize I’m going to have to get over my desire to know where I’ll be. It’s likely I won’t know that until June.

My two options are Ohio University’s graduate school to work with my advisor, Dr. Cyders, or GE Aviation’s Edison program. Graduate school here would be great, but it would be the safe option. My advisor wants to work with me, so I don’t have to convince him to hire me—I’ve been doing that for the last four years.

What’s not safe and is pretty scary is the Edison program. It’s a graduate-school track GE has to teach their engineers in depth how they do things, design things, etc. It’s super selective. I have to convince them that I can handle it and that they should invest in me.

I think what scared Jane would prefer would be gradually building her resume with safe options that just take time and hard work, until the point that I can apply to my dream job and there’s no convincing required. However, to make the most of my early years I need to take risks. I need to apply to places that might reject me. It’s scary, but necessary. So I’m applying to the Edison program. They don’t interview until June, but it’ll be okay. Everything will be okay. It’ll be an adventure.

Lifelong Learning as an Engineer

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Senior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 29 March 2016

With my decision to further my education after I graduate from Ohio University, came the thought on the importance of lifelong learning. And while lifelong learning is important for all people, I thought specifically about why it is imperative for engineers.

The world around engineers is ever changing. The beginning of engineering culture had an expectancy that engineers could dive into a specific area and remain there for as long as they desired. As technological advances accelerate, engineers are required to switch jobs more often. As a student at Ohio University, I have learned that the key to success lies in a solid foundation with a constant desire to build and apply. Specifically, in senior design, we focused on the engineering process.

Through change, the process stays the same but we must mold it to apply it properly to new situations. In the process of doing so, we are learning about the new and build this onto our foundation.

Through Ohio University, I have learned that in order to be successful, you must introduce yourself to new things often and apply them to the old. I have learned to never be afraid of the unknown, as the unknown often holds the key to professional and personal enhancement.

It’s said that the higher you reach, the harder you may fall. And of course you can never reach so that you never fall, but the reward for that is nonexistent. Change is imperative for self-improvement. A person must constantly evolve with the ever-changing world around her, otherwise she may inhibit her own success.

Graduate School for Biomedical Engineering

Talli Topp

Talli Topp,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH dd Month 2014 – Thinking about graduation is becoming all more frequent and all more real. I can’t believe that it is just a few weeks away. My plan for after graduation is to continue onto graduate school and study Biomedical Engineering. Prior to starting graduate school, I have a summer internship in Maine working at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. I am very excited about both my internship and attending graduate school. The two fields are very different from one another, but I feel like they will both present me with a unique challenge and keep me very engaged, so I look forward to each of them!

Making a decision between getting a job right after graduating and going straight to graduate school as a very tough decision, and one that took me a very long time to make. I went to a job interview after being accepted to graduate school, and the benefits and stability seemed so enticing. But, after thinking it over and talking with a lot of different people all with conflicting opinions, I realized that what I ultimately want to do with my life is help people. The field of Biomedical Engineering is the best avenue I can think of to do that, and graduate school is the first step in doing so. After finally making this big decision, I am very happy to have the stress of not knowing what I will be doing next year off of my shoulders!

Looking at Graduate School

Colton Moran

Colton Moran,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 24 February 2014 – So you spend 4 years slugging it out with core classes, trying to find the best general education courses, that you’re interested in, that hopefully won’t be too demanding if your schedule is already looking rough, and getting involved with your academic community. After all this time, after the good the bad and the ugly you come up to a point where you have to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. That is where I stand this day, deciding (after 4 year of hard work) whether to get a job or go to graduate school. It seems like just a few months ago I was a freshman looking at the beginning of my collegiate career and here I am sliding down the tail end.

Many of my friends have decided to go into industry but I don’t think I’m quite done with the “good ole years”. I have my eyes set on graduate school and let me tell you, it can be an exciting and overwhelming task to find the perfect school. First I had to take those 4 years previously mentioned and wrap them up, polish them and present them on 1 piece of paper (my resumé). Then I had to search for the schools that are at the top of the field of energy engineering. Once I found the schools I narrowed them down by looking at their current research and active professors. All the while I spent studying for the GRE which is always a pleasure (Not too bad for us engineers!!). Then the biggest moment of them all comes, submitting the accumulation of your life to the schools of your choice. I sent in resumés, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a multitude of essays. Then the waiting game begins.

Luckily for me I got into the three schools I applied to and I am currently set up to visit them. I still have Ohio University on my list of schools as well. This exploration and decision will be in chapter 2 of (What to do after my undergraduate degree).

Purdue
Ga Tech

NC State
Ohio