Explain your career path

Since graduating in 2019, I have been working as a lab analyst in the quality control lab at BioKyowa, a chemical plant that makes amino acids.

What was your major at Southeast and how would you characterize the quality of that program to prospective students?

My major at Southeast was Chemistry with a focus in chemistry and biochemistry. I really enjoyed the chemistry program because of the many areas of focus within it. I learned many things in my lecture and lab classes that help me be successful at my job. The professors in the department were great. They were very passionate about what they teach, and that made the classes enjoyable. The professors invest in their students and want them to succeed.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I attended Southeast because of the variety of degree options to choose from, the programs available to students to get involved, and because I was close to family.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

Dr. Crawford and Joanna Shaver were two people who greatly impacted my college career. Dr. Crawford taught many of my chemistry classes, was my advisor, and gave me the opportunity of working as a lab assistant during my time at SEMO. He allowed me to grow my passion for chemistry in his classroom by the way he taught and cared about the success of his students. He gave us every opportunity to succeed. Dr. Crawford helped me find internships and figure out where I wanted to take my career. He was a big factor in why I stuck with chemistry throughout college. Joanna Shaver was the advisor for Student Activities Council (SAC). I joined partway through my first semester and was given the opportunity to work backstage at a conference for the organization, where I set up stages for various performances such as bands, magicians, comedians, poets, and more. Coming back from the trip, I got more involved and became an officer, holding positions throughout my 4 years and attending more conferences. Joanna gave me the opportunity to plan campus wide events for students to get involved while at Southeast. She helped me get outside of my comfort zone. I really enjoyed working with Joanna. She helped me in so many ways throughout college.

Share your best college memory.

College was an amazing experience. The best part about it was living on campus. I made some great friends while living in towers. One of my favorite memories of college was living on the same floor as some of my friends. The fire alarm goes off occasionally in towers, and one of those times was during finals week. I had just gotten back to the dorm after studying for my finals at the library and everyone was filing out. I found my friends as we waited, but we didn’t know how long we would have to wait. It was freezing and the library had hot chocolate, so we decided to hike back to the library. It was the middle of the night and everyone was half asleep and we come strolling into the library with pajamas on. College is a whole different world and it’s great. It was something I’ll never forget.

If you were in Greek Life, the Honors Program or any other student organization, please tell us about that experience and how it impacted you.

During my time at SEMO, I was part of Student Activities Council (SAC), Alpha Chi Sigma (chemistry fraternity), and the Honors Program. In SAC, I became an officer my freshman year. I learned to plan campus wide events, network with agents to book performers, and work with a team to plan a wide variety of events. I attended many conferences with SAC where I saw a variety of performances and interactive events that I would potentially bring to campus. I learned many skills through SAC such as event planning, coordinating with people, and advertising. In Alpha Chi Sigma, I met so many people who also had a passion for science. Joining a chemistry fraternity helped me connect with students and professors in my degree field outside of the classroom. We helped each other in classes or had many get together to have fun. Alpha Chi Sigma kept me passionate about what I chose to study. Through the Honors Program, I was able to work on various projects to further my knowledge in different classes. I was able to apply to choose projects to learn more about a particular area I was interested in. I was given opportunities to present research at conferences and show people what I had accomplished. I could also just hang out at the honors house and go to events that they had. I met some great people there.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

The most important thing I learned while at SEMO was to take every opportunity you can. This is a great time to find who you are and what you enjoy doing. I went to as many events as I could because I didn’t want to miss out on anything. Because I went to SEMO, I studied abroad, I went on multiple trips with organizations I was involved in, I had 2 internships, I met some famous people, I found new hobbies, and I made some great friendships along the way. Get involved and make the most of college and life!

Describe Southeast in three words.

Home, inclusive, hilly

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

My advice to current students or recent graduates would be to get an internship or do research with a professor. These things were a big factor in the direction I chose to take my career. Internships give you a glimpse of what a job within a company would be like and if it’s something you could see yourself doing. It also gives you experience in a setting other than a classroom in your interested field. Research gives you the chance to dig deeper into something you want to learn more about. You won’t know if you like a career until you test it out.