Why did you choose CMU?
Even though I had other options to go to in other states, I chose CMU for the PhD program. I was also told nice things about CMU and I liked what I heard since I had already wanted to be in Michigan. It was a great choice.
What do you like most about CMU?
I like the school environment which is conducive for living, going to school, making friends and having a good time, the library, the gym and the music hall was by far some of my best places as well as the disc golf areas.
Where are you working now?
After graduation, I have been working as a research scientist. In this role I am in charge of large research projects.
What was the transition from international student to working in the U.S. like for you? What advice do you have for future graduates who will make a similar transition from the classroom to their career?
The transition was easy for me. I knew what I was looking for when I applied for the job. The projects, trainings as well as several tasks that I went through as a graduate student gave me the necessary background to join the work force in the industry.
Did you face any culture shock (Academic, Personal, ...) when you arrived in CMU or in the United States?
Not much but the personal shock I had was I barely saw people walking in the beautiful summer of Michigan. Then the story was different when school started in the Fall.
What resources did you use here on campus to help overcome the challenges you mentioned above?
Mainly I received advice from OIA, my research and departmental advisers or program coordinators.
What do you think helped you succeed as a student? What helps you succeed now that you are working?
I always welcome new research challenges and I always have a good focus. I enjoyed working in the lab and training students more than anything. I also had the best PhD adviser who had challenged me all the way. I was able to manage projects independently, have good communication skills and the ability to be creative and do new science has helped me a lot in my current job.
What advice would you give to International Students just arriving to CMU or to future graduates?
Study hard, work hard, use your time wisely, be open to explore new possibilities, expand your professional, academic network as well as your friend circle. My advice for future graduates is, be open to explore new possibilities and expand your network by attending conferences, trade shows, writing papers, acquiring more skills and knowledge.
Interview conducted by Brianna Hughes, graduate assistant with the Office of International Affairs, Ronan 330.