What years did you participate in UROP?

I was a part of UROP from 2009-2012 in several ways. I actually started off as the Communications and Graphic Design Assistant in my first year at U of M and continued in that role through 2012. I participated as a student in UROP the following year (10-11) and was a Peer Adviser my last year at the University (11-12).

What UROP Program(s) were you a part of? 

I was in UROP as a student. I also served as a Program Assistant for the Summer Fellowship programs in the summer of 2010.


What made you choose UROP? 

I learned so much about the program through my time as Communications Assistant and as a Program Assistant for the Summer Fellowships that I knew I wanted to participate as a second-year student. I was also heavily influenced by Sandy Gregerman, the previous director of the program, as well as the staff, and the current Peer Advisers who I came to know through my work. 

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

UROP taught me so much more than just research. It encouraged me to network and make connections with various staff and faculty across not only the University but also with community partners. It challenged me to come up with new ways to think about and explore problems and always, always ask questions! I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be a Peer Adviser during my time in UROP, and that experience helped me hone my leadership, teaching and team building skills, which has paid off incredibly in my career. 

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

While I haven't maintained contact with my Research Mentor, she was fabulous to work with and gave me a lot of valuable advice.

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?

My professional journey since graduating from U of M has been varied. I started off in a sales role directly out of school, which helped me improve my communications and relationship-building skills. Following that role, I gravitated toward an operations and project management trajectory because my strengths lie in 'getting things done' and leading people through change. I have worked in several industries in this capacity, which has strengthened my flexibility. I am actually back in the research field now as a project manager in the Department of Internal-General Medicine here at the University. My success in each role is due to being able to ask questions, generate new ideas, and implement well thought out plans. All are skills I learned in UROP. 

What advice would you give to a current UROP student? 

Take advantage of all the opportunities you're presented with at U of M and in UROP. It may seem overwhelming at some points, but you truly have so many great ways to learn and get connected on campus and through your research mentor and research peer adviser. Pursuing a lot of activities and avenues now will help you understand your strengths as well as what you're excited about, so you can narrow down your focus for the future. 

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

My very first first-author paper is currently under review at an academic journal, which is pretty cool! I was also able to represent the University at a conference last Spring and speak on a panel in front of a 500-person audience.

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students?

Stay curious and don't be afraid if you don't know all the answers yet!