Alumni Profiles

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The alumni profiles are listed below in alphabetical order.


Ossama Abdou, D.Arch, Environmental Design, Architecture

Job Title and Organization

Head, Dept. of Architecture, Higher Institute of Engineering, 15th May City, Cairo, Egypt

First Position After Graduate School

Assistant Professor, Banha university, Cairo, Egypt

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Research

Advice for Graduate Students

to be research oriented


Fredric Abramson's author photo

Fredric Abramson, Ph.D. Human Genetics

Job Title and Organization

Founder and CEO, Digital Nutrition

First Position After Graduate School

While waiting a year for my original wife to finish her degree, I did genetic counseling and auto mechanics. Then I was an Assistant Professor of Community Medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. So I'm not sure what counts as first.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Learn managerial finance, because everything involves money and the future.

Advice for Graduate Students

Do what you like, dive into new things in which you will make mistakes while learning, and be prepared to go in a new direction when it presents itself to you. The familiar path becomes worn with mediocrity, and the bold create new fields to conquer.


Justin J. Adams's author photo

Justin J. Adams, M.S., Mechanical Engineering

Job Title and Organization

Director of Product Engineering

First Position After Graduate School

Mechanical Design Engineer at Quartus Engineering

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Communication, public speaking and basic business principles (accounting, etc).

Advice for Graduate Students

Don't wait for others to discover you and offer opportunities, stick your neck out and make a name for yourself.


Gautam Adhia, M.S.E., Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Nuclear Engineering

Job Title and Organization

Lead Marine Consultant

First Position After Graduate School

Senior Marine Engineer with a consultant firm in NYC.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

All that you learnt at Michigan can be applied and useful for the rest of your career. The good foundation is important in the professional world.

Advice for Graduate Students

Find a job that makes you satisfied and stick to it.


Claudio Agostini's author photo

Claudio Agostini, Ph.D., Economics

Job Title and Organization

Professor of Economics, Adolfo Ibañez University

First Position After Graduate School

Assistant Professor, Alberto Hurtado University, Santiago, Chile
Professorial Lecturer, Georgetown University

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Quantitative and statistical skills are very useful for an economist.

Advice for Graduate Students

While you are in AA as grad student try to go to all seminars you can and learn from what professors ask the presenter. Enjoy your time in Michigan, after graduation those memories are the best you will have. Keep in touch with your professors after graduation and if you work in a university go back to Michigan for your sabbatical.


Meg Ahern's author photo

Meg Ahern, Ph.D., English & Women's Studies

Job Title and Organization

Consultant, Global Partnership for Education

First Position After Graduate School

Postdoctoral Scholar, University of Chicago

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Teamwork, flexibility, timeliness, and communicating with a wide variety of audiences (getting out of "academic-speak").

Advice for Graduate Students

Just do what you love, what calls to your soul, and don't worry about what you think you can or can't get a job in. A lot of the limitations you think are on your career are probably self-imposed.


Vinnie Ahuja, M.S.E., Industrial and Operations Engineering

Job Title and Organization

Lead Occupational Safety Specialist

First Position After Graduate School

Industrial Engineer, Intel Corporation

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Critical thinking, logic-based decision making.

Advice for Graduate Students

Don't forget to have some fun while you're there, explore all Ann Arbor has to offer, take advantage of your opportunities and resources - U-M is truly an elite university.


Gemma Marangoni Ainslie, Ph.D., Psychology

Job Title and Organization

Private practice - clinical psychology and psychoanalysis

First Position After Graduate School

Staff Psychologist for one year at Austin State Hospital, Austin, TX. The position fulfilled licensing requirements for psychologists in Texas and I left it to go into private practice, my preferred and planned upon setting, as soon as the requirement was completed.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Knowledge of practice requirements and guidelines in state in which you are interested in practicing.


James Alexander, M.S., Mechanical Engineer

Job Title and Organization

R&D Engineer

First Position After Graduate School

I was working full time at Ford Motor Company while going to school for my master's degree. After working at Ford for one year, I started my master's degree in the fall of 2000 and finished in 2002.

In the fall of 2003, I moved from Michigan to Minnesota and changed to the Medical device industry; covering Medtronic and American Medical Systems.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Hands-on: I have met several engineers that can design and draft in a CAD program. The great ones can think through prototyping and manufacturing. Drop the books and build something with your hands.

Cradle to grave: Learn the paths that all development projects follow: 1) Customer interaction to select a problem to solve. 2) Concept generation and selection. 3) Design Characterization and Requirement completion. 4) Design Verification. 5) Design Validation (are the customer's needs met). 6) Process Validation. 7) Launch and Market support. 8) Obsolete.

Advice for Graduate Students

Find a job title(s) of interest. Introduce yourself and meet new people in the industry with the goal to learn more about the position(s) within that company.

Select company(s) of interest. Meet people within those company(s) to learn more about the company and express interest.

Continue to network and apply for jobs. Expand your network.


John Ambrose's author photo

John Ambrose, M.S., Botany [and Ph.D., Botany, Cornell, 1974]

Job Title and Organization

in retirement: botanical consultant and farm mentor, Swallow Haven Farm, Pelee Island, ON

First Position After Graduate School

after Rackham: Assistant Hydrographic Officer, USS Maury (AGS-16)

after Cornell: Curator, University of Guelph Arboretum and Graduate Faculty, Botany

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

While focusing on a narrow question keep a broad perspective.

Advice for Graduate Students

While pursuing current technology to explore the unknown, don't lose touch with past understanding and traditional knowledge.


Kumud Anant Baid, M.S.I., Human Computer Interaction

Job Title and Organization

Director, Codez IT Solutions

First Position After Graduate School

Director

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Leadership, it is necessary to grow in any organization.

Advice for Graduate Students

Follow your heart, do what you love!


Adam Ancira-Corrigan's author photo

Adam Ancira-Corrigan, M.A., School of Education

Job Title and Organization

Director of Admissions, University of Michigan School of Public Health

First Position After Graduate School

Teacher

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Project Management skills to help prep them for supervisor opportunities.

Advice for Graduate Students

Stay in contact with your U-M classmates. That network could help you in the future.


Eric Anderman, Ph.D., Education and Psychology

Job Title and Organization

Professor and Department Chair, The Ohio State University

First Position After Graduate School

Assistant Professor, The University of Kentucky

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Statistical skills; writing.


Leslie Anderson's author photo

Leslie Anderson, Ph.D., Political Science

Job Title and Organization

University of Florida Research Foundation Professor of Political Science

First Position After Graduate School

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

In Political Science learn Qualitative Research Methods and study political theory. The discipline is drowning in quantitative methods. Students and scholars have lost the ability to think through an issue and lost the ability to theorize. Political science is moving further and further away from the real world and becoming increasingly irrelevant for politics. We need to focus less on numbers and more on making our work interesting, broadly relevant, and theoretically interesting.

Advice for Graduate Students

Try to become in touch with who you are as a scholar and professional. Focus less on doing the kind of work others think you should do and focus more on doing what you are really interested in doing. Jumping through other people's hoops may get you a great job placement but it will not sustain career interest and energy for forty years. Only doing what you love can do that.


Gerti Arnold's author photo

Gerti Arnold, Ph.D., Higher Education

Job Title and Organization

Sr. Director of Development, Boise State University

First Position After Graduate School

Director, Hastings 1066 Foundation

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Interviewing, project management.

Advice for Graduate Students

Don't be shy about contacting alumni for informational interviews or advice.


Lois Aroian, A.M., Ph.D., Modern Middle Eastern History

Job Title and Organization

Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, East Jordan, Michigan

First Position After Graduate School

1) Research Associate, Rackham Graduate School. I worked on the Doctor of Humanities project. It was part-time.

2) Lecturer in History, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. I taught Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean history for two years. It was a very enlightening experience.

3) Congressional Fellow, American Historical Association, spent 8 months working for Congress.

4) Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State, Political Officer, 23 1/2 years, mainly in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. Deputy Chief of Mission in two African posts and Principal Officer in Quebec City, Canada.

5) Presbyterian minister for the last five years.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Explore other religions and cultures. Learn at least one other foreign language, preferably two or three.

Advice for Graduate Students

Be adaptable. Follow your heart. Help people. Never stop learning. Treat others with respect. Ask questions. Listen more than you talk. Develop analytical, writing, and public speaking skills. Have courage to speak up for what is right. Take risks.


Lester Arquette, M.S.E., Electrical Engneering; M.S.E., Nuclear Engineering; M.S. Mathematics; EE Professional Degree in Electrical Eng.

Job Title and Organization

Retired systems analyst

First Position After Graduate School

Engineering Analyst, Bendix Corp., Ann Arbor, MI
Communications coverage analysis for systems of low-orbiting satellites; Reliability analysis of complex systems; Throughput analysis of weighted linear graphs (models for a variety of linear networks)

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

1. Continue development of perspicuous writing skills, along with adding to your active vocabulary (to enhance communication with engineering management, and with professionals who specialize in different disciplines);
2. Join a premier professional society in your field of specialization (becoming aware of others who are thinking along similar lines that you are);
3. Continue to develop mathematical skills and computer-related skills (this is the language of engineering, and must be mastered).

Advice for Graduate Students

1. Keep abreast of latest computer software (Mathcad; Matlab; Maplesoft; etc.);
2. Develop a usable list of "favorites" for your computer;
3. Be available for exposition of your work in lay terms, especially for middle-school and high-school students;
4. If time permits, achieve conversational skills in at least one foreign language;
5. Find time/opportunities to travel abroad.


Sashi Athota's author photo

Sashi Athota, Master of Science in Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, EECS

Job Title and Organization

Chief Executive Officer, Akarsaka Professional Services

First Position After Graduate School

As an Intellectual Property Consultant at a boutique consulting firm in Boston, this path less taken led me to law school at Columbia University and to Kirkland and Ellis LLP, where I worked as an attorney in IP and restructuring for a while.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Always focus on acquiring depth instead of just breadth and don't try to be a generalist as specialists usually have more opportunities in the first 10 years of their career. Also, be strong at communication and hone interpersonal skills.

Advice for Graduate Students

Learn for the sake of learning and not just for grades or a job - although a job may be the end goal, it shouldn't impact your learning and the pleasure you get from it. Also, experiment with and enjoy courses outside of your department.


Graham Atkin, Ph.D., Neuroscience

Job Title and Organization

Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

First Position After Graduate School

I spent about eight months as a postdoctoral researcher, then took a position teaching and doing research in the medical schools at MSU.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Communication is the number one skill I would encourage grad students to develop. Being able to talk with a range of audiences from prospective colleagues to lay audiences to skeptical public officials can be both the lifeblood and the reward of all your hard work.

Advice for Graduate Students

Say the things you want out loud and often. Talk with people about what you want and what you do - you never know where a connection may lead. But if you are not vocal, it's like standing outside a closed door and hoping someone happens to open it for you.


Katia R. Avilés-Vázquez's author photo

Katia R. Avilés-Vázquez, M.S., Natural Resources and Environment

Job Title and Organization

Executive Director, Model Forest Office

First Position After Graduate School

Lecturer I at the University of Michigan. After two years as Lecturer I at the Residential College, I realized I wanted to do research and create my own courses so I continued on to a Ph.D. First job during/after that was as Environmental Affairs Coordinator, and then Manager, for one of the most important ecosystem restoration projects in Puerto Rico (www.aguamala.org). After five years, I wanted to continue teaching and go back to research, which I did, but soon was offered the opportunity to direct the Model Forest Office for three years. The Model Forest is an innovative way of looking at forests with people living in and protecting them. The innovative initiative puts control of economic and natural resources in community hands, and I am lucky enough to help with this transition.

Career Skills Graduate Students Should Develop

Whether you want to do theoretical or practical work, get experience doing it and doing other work. Michigan offers many wonderful opportunities to give back. When I started as Environmental Affairs Coordinator, I had steered clear of Public Policy, I did not want a desk job (little do we know!), so when I interviewed, I was very weak on environmental policy, but my hands on experience coordinating Washtenaw County level events for Latinos got me this job whose central axis is community participation. THEN, getting the swing of doing the work needed within a government agency certainly was a HUGE change from the more theoretical/peer review focus of some concentrations.

Advice for Graduate Students

I have two things I would share with my younger self, and thus with whomever reads this.
1. Become a master of a trait, even at the graduate level it is easy to want to do and learn everything, but also become familiar with as many others as you can
2. If you are interested in research or teaching, never let it go because of a job. From my experience and what I have been able to gather from other graduates, you can switch from research to "practical" work easier than it is from going to practical work back to research and teaching. If you are lucky to find a "real world" job experience, keep teaching a course or contacts with peers so that you can publish (at a slower pace perhaps) at least once a year.


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