Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of an Era (or something like it...)

Last night , I couldn't keep myself from sitting at the fountain, thinking about the past four years of college. Is it really here? I can't believe that sometimes.
As scary as it to go out into the real world, I'm strangely excited about it. I'm not sure about my job status yet, I'm still going on interviews, I'm still looking for apartments. But I've made my peace with WPI. It was the best experience to travel to a new country, learn about different people, work and play, and live the WPI fast-paced life. But here we go, we're moving on.

Thank you to everyone who's been in my life these four years- whether we are friends or foes today, it was good while it lasted. I hope to see you all have a bright future. My friends- we're doing that once-a-year-reunion in random places in the world- no excuses :)

Thank you all WPI faculty and staff- you've given me a wonderful experience I won't forget. I wish everyone who's graduating the best of luck. I can only hope to take the best things from here on toward my future. Since this is my last entry, I also wanted to thank everyone who's been following my life. Thanks for reading this blog and wishing me well, when you ran into me. I guess it wasn't too hard to figure me out.

Best wishes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


So I didn't really talk about this before, because I was trying to stay on the DL a little, but I got some interview calls recently. Good thing I did a mock interview way ahead of time, and did some fair amount of prepping before my time. Here's the order they were in...

1) atrocious. That's the only word for the first know how they say, it's all great to be prepped about the questions, but it's the curve ball you have to be prepared for...yeah. They asked me physics questions. All I could do was say..."Uh, I'm majoring in Biotechnology.....". I don't even know what to say to someone else for the future on how to deal with something like I was so nervous, I couldn't think about any of the normal questions he asked that was a disaster. We'll see what I hear from them...I'm not expecting anything

2) Much better. Aside from making a fool of myself by appearing too eager and arriving 30 minutes early, not too much of a disaster area. I have a call back for a second I'm pretty pumped :) Note to self: carry printed copy of poster so you can talk about your MQP, if your poster is about ready...not only is it good prep for Project Presentation Day, it helps keep your mind on track when you talk.

3) Went well too! Phew! What a relief- this one is for a very competitive position though, so once again I'm not expecting a miracle. But at least I didn't stumble upon my words, or say or do anything embarrasing. From here on, it will just be a battle for who they thought was the best. Note to self: make sure to thank EVERYONE you meet at the company...I emailed a thank you letter to the secretary as well. Besides, she was super nice :)

Well, that's it for now folks. Let's see what the future brings....

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's here, it's here!

So project presentation day is in like 10 days...wait, does this mean I'm done with MQP???? YESSSSSSSS. Well, almost.
Of course many of you know we have to make MQP posters for the big day, and mine is pretty close to completion. The real project poster is due by 17th- or 20th at the latest. So it's crunch time for me to get the ball rolling and finish up! Obviously this weekend is my personal deadline to finish it up so I don't have to look at it anymore...:P
Looking back upon that, my MQP was one of the best things to have happened to me. I owe a lot to my lab members and above all, my project advisor who took me under his guide, not knowing much about me, except my performance in his class and my interest in genetics (and jazz....we both love jazz ^_^) It really teaches me to never be afraid of trying anything new- because the way I saw it a year ago,I had nothing to lose by asking him for an MQP project.
The amount I've learnt by being in a lab could never compare to what textbooks teach. For every incoming freshmen or upperclassmen who have any interest in life science or bioengineering- my best advice would be to get into a lab as soon as possible. Even if it's workstudy or volunteer and all they make you do is autoclave- believe me, these are worthy skills to learn.
I realise I have a long way to go now, but I've been encouraged in this scientific direction thanks to my lab. And even though I'm sick of this MQP and want it to be over, I know that if I had another year, I would draft up several more projects to get the hidden answers.

So good luck to you in MQP and whatever projects you undertake-whether solo like me or with project partners, it's an unbelievable opportunity and we should all take full advantage of it.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Looking for Jobs?

Yes, I am. So after this follow-up business, I was actually dumb enough to NOT pick up a call from an unknown number, and I missed the chance to talk to a certain employer. Now I'm leaving them messages but have been unable to get to talk to them so far. So yeah, lesson number one: Don't Screen Your Calls....

After a lot of writing of cover letters and e-mails, I'm a little bummed I haven't heard anything back yet. I hear it's a bit of a long screening process though, so everyone is telling me to sit tight. Yeah, if I don't hear back by like Tuesday I'm probably going to be sending some gentle reminders to some companies I liked a lot :P

In cases like these though, the CDC is a great place to stop by for a quick question. I'm definitely going to ask them for a little advice on the matter-I'm sure they deal with this kind of thing a lot. Perhaps they can help me curb my enthusiasm? I'll let you know....sit tight, I guess :P

Monday, March 30, 2009

Following Up

So the Career Fair last week was really well put together and I met a LOT of great companies. Soem things I learned: don't be afraid to talk, approach as many people as you can, and try and get as many contacts as you can. I just wrote a series of cover letters over the weekend (the CDC is willing to review cover letters, btw) and sent them out Sunday night so that they get them on Monday morning at work. And guess what? I've already heard back from some of them that they will be considering me for interviews.

Things look hopeful and I am a little less stressed out now...I just need to keep this positive attitude and keep up correspondence with them. It certainly seems like my preparation my reading up on companies and practising talking to representatives worked out well, so I would highly recommend that in the future.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Coming Soon...oh man.

Ok so Bio Fair is on Thursday-and I scheduled for a resume critique with one of the Bio Companies coming this week to prepare myself. Here's the final check list of things to do for the fair:

-Fresh copies of new resume after critique with bio company
-Check out handouts on Interviewing from CDC because interviews would be held next day after the fair.
-Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. I have to make sure to be able to talk about every single thing on my resume, esp. my MQP!
-Check out the companies coming on Job Finder, look up what they do, what positions they have open-apply to some positions if possible, so I'm already in their system. They are much more apt to listening to someone who already knows what they're about and shows interest in working for them. There's like 20 I want to meet so good thing I got started on this one already. If you didn't though, don't worry- make sure to at least read their description on the JobFinder website to learn a little about them.
-Think of 2-3 questions to ask every company that are relevant.
-Clothes!!!! I hate figuring out what to wear the last minute, so I already have some outfits picked out. Now I have to make sure they're ready and good to go by thursday :) Actually, even for the resume critique, even though we don't require to wear formal clothes, it might be a good idea to go a little business casual with khakis and a nice shirt.

So yeah, lots of things to figure out, but they're all manageable-good luck to those who are going!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring is here...yes?

Well, the last term certainly kicked off with...uh, no bangs, actually. How was the last break at WPI you ask? Unfortunately, rather uneventful. I stuck around Worcester to continue working on my MQP-big surprise, it's not over yet. However, it turned out to be quite a good thing because my job search process is now in full swing. Over break, since the CDC was open, I was able to set up a mock interview and other appointments with counsellors. I wrote a number of cover letters and sent them out to different companies using CareerSearch to look for those companies first. I also found out the CDC website has a multitude of links to different science careers, where they constantly update jobs and events-that was really helpful to look for positions too. If you're interested, follow

A mock interview, by the way, is one of the most useful things you could do with your time. I definitely thought I was a confident interviewee and would ace the process. But the whole interview was taped, and when I saw myself, I noticed a large number of mistakes I was making constantly-I realised if I was an employer, I wouldv'e been very unimpressed. It is incredibly helpful to sit down and review what you did, make notes, and improve yourself next time. I would also highly recommend going through the "Interview" handout and Career Guide the CDC has- they have a lot of helpful tips, general questions you'll get asked at most interviews, recommendations and so on. DEFINITELY go through your own resume, and recite to yourself your job descriptions, your classes, your activities and make sure you are able to describe them in a concise manner.I found out that despite having given probably like 50 presentations over my college career, I was still unable to give solid answers that were well put together from the top of my head when asked specific questions- so it certainly helps a lot to rehearse.

Next week the fair is coming up and I am super excited! There's like 20 companies I want to meet, so this weekend is major prep time. Good luck to all of you who are going (you should go, by the way). And let's see how it goes... :)