1.What is your major and what year are you? What made you choose your major and/or career path?
Hey! My name is Jenna Alma and I am a Junior studying Biomedical Engineering with a Mechanics Emphasis and a Mathematics Minor. My desire to study biomedical engineering started when I elected to take an A.P. Biology class in my sophomore year of high school. I was fascinated by the human body, our cells, and how one could tinker with what’s on the inside to do truly amazing things. I envision finding cures for all kinds of diseases and using the power of our own bodies to create therapies to solve the world’s most elusive problems. My decision to choose biomedical engineering was also influenced by my growing up in a family of engineers. I was raised in a household that fostered curiosity, contributing to the strong critical thinking and problem solving skills I possess today.
2. Where did you intern and what was your role? What is your most memorable career-related experience?
My journey to obtaining this degree reached a milestone when I landed my very first internship. After applying to only two programs (as a freshman no less) I was beyond amazed when I was accepted into both of them! I ended up choosing the Summer Student Program at the Jackson Laboratory and I can say with complete confidence that that was the best decision of my life. I not only was able to spend two whole months immersed in a professional lab conducting genomics research, but I was able to forge strong bonds with the other participants, people who I still consider my friends today! And if we were all to meet up again, we would pick up right where we left off. I didn’t expect to grow as much personally as I did and I really feel that that added to the overall experience.
3. Did the Career Center assist you and how?
The Career Center has been really helpful when it comes to sending representatives to attend our club meetings and teaching the entire club on how to put together a resume and the in’s and outs’ of a LinkedIn profile. They also tailored their presentation to the needs of engineering majors like ourselves, which is super helpful when you might not have experience in the field yet.
4. How has your on-campus involvement helped you market yourself to employers?
Being the President of the Society of Women Engineers at Hofstra has really helped me develop in so many ways. I’ve learned great communication, leadership, and managerial skills that have helped me be more confident when marketing myself to employers at career fairs. I also believe it teaches you how to handle responsibility and manage your time, two skills that translate to any workplace, no matter the major.
5. What advice would you give to a student looking for an internship?
As for those still trying to land their first internship, Google is your friend so use it to your advantage. I spent the summer beforeI wanted to intern searching for programs related to my degree that would give me the experience employers were looking for. Once you find some programs that you like, ask for letters of recommendation early both as a courtesy to the person you’re asking but also so that you aren’t scrambling for documents at the last minute.
You’re worth is not a sum of your failures and successes but rather how you deal with what life throws at you. It may seem like the end of the world now, but in two, three, or even five years, you will look back on that time and wonder why you were so stressed out about something so small. As for me, I’m waiting to hear back from the numerous program applications I submitted. Wish me luck!