3rd Annual Alumni Weekend
On January 20, 2018, first and second year MRADS students will have the opportunity to interact and ask questions in small group settings to get to know MRADS alumni. Each year current students rave about how much they have learned from the alumni and had positive experiences.
At the MRADS Alumni Weekend, I shared my path from the MRADS to a Ph.D. and (hopefully!) a professorship. By so doing, I aimed to provide a reference framework that current MRADS students could use to help craft their own professional journey. I particularly enjoyed interacting with students, hearing about their lives, and what's on their minds. Also, it was wonderful to be able to give a little back to a program that gave me so much in my first two years at the University of Michigan. My weekend in Ann Arbor reminded me that no matter where I go or how long I've been gone, forever Go Blue!
I had a great time visiting a program that had a profound impact on my personal and professional development. MRADS is clearly continuing a tradition of bringing together inquisitive students from different background and broad interests. During the panel and breakout sessions, students asked diverse questions that ranged from lighthearted to profound. Answers by alumni hopefully reaffirmed that a typical undergraduate experience is a mixed bag of accomplishments, uncertainties, adversities, and camaraderie. Such an experience does not have to be a solo journey but rather friends, faculty, staff and even strangers are always there to give a helping hand.
Students attended an Alumni Panel and then a small group session with an alumnus/alumna of their choosing. Below are some of their thoughts and reflections of the weekend. Click on their names below!
I enjoyed the Alumni Weekend so much! It was really inspiring to hear how they got to where they are now. It was also super helpful listening to different Alumni's experiences as undergrad and learning how those experiences shaped them to who they are. It was comforting hearing advice from someone who was in the same position as I am now, especially from those who are have a career that I am currently pursuing. I never realized how many twists and turns a path to success needs have in order to be, well, successful. When the Alumni were sharing their journeys, I learned that no two people take the same path to get to same place.
Having MRADS alumni return to speak with us current students was definitely a unique experience. I was able to ask detailed question about how this specific program has helped the alumni achieve their goals, and it was enlightening to hear about all the speakers' future plans, whether they involved research or not. The break out sessions were extremely helpful in getting to connect with one person who shared specific goals with me, and it helped me make a clearer picture in my mind of what my future college experience might look like. Having this resource available to us as first year students was very valuable, and I certainly learned a lot from it. One of my biggest takeaways from Alumni weekend was gaining a vision of what a typical pre-health student's college life looks like. It's often daunting to look that far ahead, but the speaker whose session I attended made it all seem very doable. She gave us great strategies for balancing schoolwork, studying for exams, having a social life, volunteering, and doing research.
I had a good experience. The large gathering was nice to be able to attend, and refreshing to hear that some of the alumni had had some of the same struggles as we have had. The breakout sessions really were helpful because I was able to ask questions I had and hear back from a reliable source.
Speaking to the alum during the Alumni Weekend was an enjoyable experience that really increased my hope for the future. As a freshman who is still exploring what the world has to offer and still trying to find out what my future looks like, it was really relieving to see people who are successful now, but were just as apprehensive and unsure about their future when they were in my shoes. It really made me believe that I was going to be fine, because if they could come out of this successful, so could I. Being able to talk to them in smaller session during the breakout session was especially enjoyable, as we were able to talk and ask questions about topics from research and careers to college life and general life advice.
My experience at the Alumni Weekend was amazing and truly inspiring. The Alumni kept emphasizing that it is okay not to know exactly that you're majoring in and even that it is okay not to do well. Many of them changed their majors multiple times, didn't know what they were doing, and even had points when they failed. The Alumni mentioned that without these challenges and drawbacks, they would not have gotten to where they are today; this truly inspired me and made me feel more secure about the challenges I am facing. Something that I really took away from the conversation with the Alumni was how important it is to take care of oneself. Your health is so important not only physically but also mentally. Sleeping 8 hours a night, taking a break from a long study day, eating properly, doing exercise, spending some time with friends are all ways that you can positively impact your health. If you don't properly take care of yourself, it can not only affect your academic work but also your motivation and balance in life.
Alumni weekend was better than I anticipated. There was a diverse group of alumni who shared their experiences not only about MRADS about college. The different ways the discussed reflecting on their college life showcased how unique each one was. It also showed me that their are important similarities with each person because they each developed a habit or routine because of their experience in college. There should be an alumni event every semester.
Alumni Weekend was very eye-opening, encouraging, and motivating. It was insightful to hear a lot of the alumni were in the exact same place as I am now their freshman year and now they are all successful. Most of them shared the same struggles of all-nighters, finishing an essay that was due, balancing school and social lives, and just making friends. They talked about how they were able to overcome these and shared tips and tricks on how they survived and thrived in college. It was very motivating to hear that even though I might be struggling now, I will figure everything out and eventually I will be successful. Overall, it was great to see how MRADS impacted previous students and how impacted their future, making them better equipped for life.