Author: Charlotte Anthony | Category: Around Campus | Of Interest | March 02, 2015
Students, trainees, and professionals met on Feb. 24 for the
Graduate Student Association’s (GSA) Speed Networking event at Little
“The speed networking event was held to bring together a
diverse population united by their career paths in health science and to give
them the opportunity to interact with those at different stages in their
career, in different specialties, from different specialties, from different
schools,” said Elizabeth Fucich, president of GSA. “There are no other
school-wide events for trainees at all levels to really meet and discuss their
The event was set up with “speed rounds” allowing each
person to talk about their background, school, work for a maximum of five
minutes before moving onto the next person.
“It was a great opportunity for graduate students to
practice their elevator speech so that they learn to quickly summarize their
work and interests when first meeting someone,” Fucich said. “Events like this
are useful in providing students face time with everyone in attendance, many of
whom they would normally not have the chance to meet.”
Iriscilla Ayala, a graduate student in the Cellular and
Structural Biology program, said that the enjoyed the format of the event.
“Usually it’s hard to connect with people to ask hey, who
are you in a quick way,” Ayala said. “The fact that it was a speed networking
event made it easy to get to the nitty gritty of who are you, what are you
learning, and what are your plans.”
She also explained that she liked that the event was off
“It was nice having it at the bar instead of on campus
because it was a relaxing atmosphere to get to know people. It had the illusion
of being off the clock because it was a different environment. If it was on
campus, I would have felt that I would have to go back to the lab because it’s
around the corner,” Ayala said.
Kristen Malloy, a first year graduate student in the Medical
Physics program, said that the event was good for her to people from the
various schools and departments on campus.
“I come from a very small program at UT Health Science Center,
so I don’t get very many opportunities to meet other students and postdocs. My
main hope for the event was to connect with and get to know other people here, both socially professionally,” Malloy said. “It was also
great to find out about what kinds of research people in other departments were
Malloy also explained that networking events are especially important
for graduate students.
“As graduate students, we will eventually be moving on to
other places as we continue our careers. I’m sure that many of my fellow
graduate students will go on to post-doc positions or become leaders in the
biomedical industry,” Malloy said. “These are people that I want to keep in my
network so that we can stay in touch and help each other as we progress in our
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