PDG Recipient: Michelle Sugimoto

Congratulations to Michelle Sugimoto, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to cover the membership and mentoring circles fee of the Associassion of Women in Science, Massachusetts Chapter (MassAWIS). This is Michelle’s second year receiving this award for continuing her positive experience as a member of MassAWIS. See why she’s so excited about this opportunity:

I participated in the MassAWIS Mentoring Circles Program last year for the first time. My two mentors provided so many helpful insights, resources, and feedback. My fellow mentees were very supportive and had so many useful suggestions for my professional development.

The Mentoring Circles Program with MassAWIS provides a great, safe space to develop your career plan, interviewing skills, and resume/cover letter documents. The program matches you with 4-5 other graduate women and 1-2 professional mentors in the Boston/Cambridge area. We meet up for two hours once a month as well as develop action items to be completed before each meeting. I love the space because everyone is very supportive and excited to be there to develop their career goals. It’s a good way to keep yourself accountable!

I am participating again this year because these are skills and documents that can always be improved upon. This year, I really look forward to continue to hone my skills in the job talk, interviewing, elevator pitch, etc. I especially want to be held accountable and solicit advice on identifying companies/labs I’m interested in, job positions, and avenues to get there! I am very excited to continue to expand my network and connect with other women in STEM!

Interested in joining a professional association and/or a mentoring program? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Evelyn Liu

Congratulations to Evelyn Liu, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the IDEA 2020 Conference: Embrace Your Impact! Evelyn had been previously awarded a PDG attended the IDEA 2019 conference, and her experience was so positive that we supported her attendance once more! Read below about what she learned in this great event this time:

The IDEA Conference was a blast this year. The keynote was Annie Lenard, of Greenpeace USA. She inspired us to find our purpose because it will serve as a compass to get us out of bed, despite difficulties. She asked us to be wary of expertise and doing something excellently, as expertise squelches innovation. As innovators, we must explore different countries and unfamiliar situations so that our brains are forced to loosen up. Be willing to breathe into anxiety, get out of our comfort zones, and be around smart people. Absorb their smartness. Join a diverse team rather than a comfort team. In addition, we must have capacity to handle other people who might drag us down by not leaking any energy. Her example is if someone asks “What do you say to people who think you are doing this for publicity?” answer with “Really? I don’t care. Next question.” It’s about living light, keeping enough energy for higher purposes. Finally, cultivate the society around us because nobody succeeds alone; people clean water and maintain roads so that we can do what we want to do.

I also learned about financing a new venture. I gained insights on venture capitalists, who mainly invest other people’s money into startups. They raise money from pensions and endowments. These are usually people who are experts in specific fields. I also learned about Angel investors who invest personal money to give back to young entrepreneurs. I gained a better understanding of how people can buy shares from their own company and how vesting periods work, how to buy back shares and raise money from investors via convertible notes without the need for valuation or heavy legal fees. I learned vocabularies, such as discount means, I.O.Us, valuation cap, and preferred votes.

Finally, I learned how to turn big ideas into action and create a world I would want to live in through a panel consisting of Lauren Betz, from Food for All, Greg Wellenius, from public health, Josefina Luna, and Malay Mazumder, a BU expert on solar panels. They each delved into details in the different ways they got to where they are today and how they dealt with complications and partnerships. In summary, I learned tricks in making ideas feasible.
Want to attend a professional development event like Evelyn? Apply for a PDG to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Kylie Moore

I was awarded a GWISE Professional Development grant to become a member of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST). I attended Tamsen Webster’s “How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible” webinar hosted by WEST, and it was an amazing experience! Tamsen Webster seamlessly adapted her presentation to fit the virtual format and engaged her audience with exercises and an interactive question and answer session. This webinar helped me approach the delicate art of science communication from a new perspective. I learned strategies for formulaically outlining the ‘story’ I’m trying to tell into five key components: the goal, the unexpected problem, the ground truth, the necessary change, and the corresponding necessary action(s). I also learned how to leverage language to clearly convey my ideas and frame them in exciting, unexpected ways. I’m eager for the chance to put some of these principles into action with upcoming talks and grant applications. I can’t wait to attend more WEST events in the future (this year’s theme is Be Fearless, Be Brave!), and I highly recommend checking out some of their upcoming programs. Thank you to GWISE for supporting my professional development endeavors, even in these strange times of social distancing and remote work. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend this event and to be a part of the WEST community!

Interested in joining a professional association and/or attending webinars? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Michelle Sugimoto

The Mentoring Circles Program with MassAWIS provides a great, safe space to develop your career plan, interviewing skills, and resume/cover letter documents. The program matches you with 4-5 other graduate women and 1-2 professional mentors in the Boston/Cambridge area. We meet up for two hours once a month as well as develop action items to be completed before each meeting. I love the space because everyone is very supportive and is excited to be there to develop their career goals. It’s a good way to keep yourself accountable!
The circle set-up is perfect for expanding your network! I’ve had the opportunity to meet women from a variety of schools, professions, and disciplines. I’ve also received a lot of useful tips from not only my two wonderful mentors, but all of my fellow mentees! 
In our first meeting, we discussed our general goals for the year, which for many included improving technical skills, building our networks, and increasing knowledge of career paths. We also talked about what we want in general from our careers, for example, what kind of colleagues relationships we want, level of risk/reward culture, and level of work independance.
During our November meeting, we discussed different career paths, including typical position titles, how one moves up within that career, and application timelines. Our career aspirations are so varied! It afforded a very interesting discussion. 
I look forward to the rest of the year with these amazing women!

Interested in joining a professional association and/or a mentoring program? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Mary Yohannes

I attended Reconnecting with Your Purpose: For Women of Color Academics workshop on Thursday, September 19 and I enjoyed it a lot. I was able to meet and talk with numerous women of color from different walks of life and various academic levels. The workshop started with everyone introducing themselves and agreeing to a couple of discussion guidelines. Then, we were divided into groups of 2 to talk about a peak moment in our careers. After that, we discussed our values as a big group and did an exercise that involved talking about our frustrations in the fields that we are currently in. The workshop was concluded with a support circle where a volunteer shared their current life frustration and the rest of the group showed support and shared possible solutions from their own experiences.
The workshop was really good and I was able to connect with women that have previously gone through the path I am currently walking through. It was empowering and comforting to have been surrounded by strong women of color and talk about situations we go through daily in our schools, departments, and workplaces. I was able to get constructive advice on how to deal with being one of the few black people in my program. I exchanged contacts with few of the women and received an invite to attend an event organized by Lesley University for women of color. The workshop helped me find assurance in what I am pursuing and motivation to keep going. I would like to thank GWISE for making it possible for me to attend this event.

Interested in attending a Professional Development workshop? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Katie Babcock

Congratulations to Katie Babcock, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the Science Communication Boot Camp of the American Association of Anatomists in Indianapolis, IN. Look at all she learned from this great event:

I attended the American Association of Anatomists (AAA) Science Communication Boot Camp co-hosted by AAA and the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at the Indiana University School of Medicine. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to teach scientists how to communicate effectively about their work to people outside of their discipline. Each day was jam-packed with different interactive sessions, from one-on-one activities to large group exercises. We learned how to use techniques from applied improvisation to distill our message and how to embrace the art of storytelling to share the importance of our work. On the last day we were given the opportunity to put our new skill sets to the test by undergoing two types of mock interviews: one on camera with local media, and one off camera with policymakers on Capitol Hill. Participants were also given a “toolkit” allowing us to take what we had learned back home with us so we can facilitate similar trainings at our respective institutions. One of the key take-home messages from the program was the importance of knowing your audience and being able to adapt your language to connect with them in real time. This workshop was a truly unique experience that I learned a lot from, and I am thankful for the financial support of the GWISE Professional Development Grant for allowing me to attend.

Interested in attending a Professional Development conference? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Chloe Anderson

Congratulations to Chloe Anderson, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the “Leadership Skills for Success in the Scientific Workforce” workshop in Denver, CO, from the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN). Look at all she learned from this great event:

I attended the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN) workshop titled “Leadership Skills for Success in the Scientific Workforce”. This was a three-day workshop aimed at teaching leadership and management skills to women in the geosciences. Much of science is collaborative, but leadership and management are rarely presented to scientists as necessary skills for success within academia. The workshop included self-reflection to identify strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and our natural communication styles with the goal to learn strategies to leverage or modify communication strategies to achieve effective responses from all personality types. The workshop also had components addressing how to build motivation and trust within our “scientific teams”, and how to give and receive positive and negative feedback while being an effective communicator and science team member. The workshop concluded with opportunities for networking with current women leaders within the geosciences. I gained new strategies to communicate and collaborate with faculty, students, collaborators and others, in a more professional capacity than I have been able to in the past as a student. This workshop provided necessary skills for me as I transition from a student leader in my current capacity, to a postdoc, and to my ultimate goal as faculty in a geosciences department in the future.

Interested in attending a Professional Development conference? Apply for a grant to cover your flight expenses, lodging and/or registration fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Evelyn Liu

Congratulations to Evelyn Liu, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the IDEA 2019 Conference: Embrace Your Impact! Read below about what she learned in this great event:

I attended the conference with the intention of being inspired amongst people with ideas. As a LEAP student who recently moved to Boston to study engineering, I spent months focusing on the discipline and have neglected people outside of the college of engineering for way too long. I was glad to meet people outside of the engineering world who were also there to create, pitch ideas, and solve worldly problems. The IDEA 2019 Conference attracted attendees from every single college at Boston University, including the CFA, ENG, Med Campus, Questrom, MET, and CAS. A large group of students from the entrepreneurship program at the University of New Hampshire also bussed to the conference together.
While most people were inspired by CEOs and founders of successful businesses run by people our age, I was more fascinated by the workshops. In particular, I learned how to figure out whether our crazy ideas will solve problems that are actually problems, how to “network like a boss”, and how to “convert passion to purpose.” It is important to test out the scale of a problem before committing too many resources towards a project. There are tricks for introverts to network strategically and accomplish an agenda. 90% of the time it’s about relying on the network of people around you. Lastly, I learned to structure my purpose statement and create an action plan to satisfy that purpose.
Thank you, GWISE, for giving me the chance to attend this conference.

Interested in attending a Professional Development conference? Apply for a grant to cover your ticket fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Shen Ning

Congratulations to Shen Ning, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the 2019 Healthcare Conference at Harvard Business School. Here’s what gained from the event:

Attending the healthcare conference helped broaden my perspective on the current concerns on the technological side of healthcare from academic institutions and industry partners. Of particular interest to a BU student, I learned more about the vision of BMC through the perspective of the BMC CEO, Kate Walsh. Most importantly, this event provided a networking opportunity for me to learn about the immediate needs and concerns in the healthcare industry and potential career options that I had never considered before. I am very thankful to the BU GWISE Professional Development Grant to fund this unique opportunity for me to engage with a group of innovative thinkers on the issues in healthcare delivery outside the academic field.

Interested in attending a Professional Development conference? Apply for a grant to cover your ticket fee! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.

PDG Recipient: Kate Flanagan

Congratulations to Kate Flanagan, who was awarded a Professional Development Grant (PDG)  to attend the 8th Annual oSTEM Conference. Here’s what she tells us about her experience:

I attended the national oSTEM conference in Houston, TX in the hopes of making new connections with other LGBT+ students and professionals in STEM. Over three days, I attended workshops on professional development, networked with LGBT-friendly employers, and learned a great deal about the experiences of those with intersectional LGBT identities, and how to make the workplace feel safe and comfortable for them.

One event that stands out in my mind was a mock interview with an engineer from an aerospace company. I was as nervous as I always am at interviews, but his positive feedback about my resume and composure, and the general welcoming environment of the conference gave me the confidence to attend a real interview the next day, where I flourished. Later, I attended a breakout group for women to discuss our experiences in male and cis dominated spaces, and what we can do to help each other, and what schools and companies can do to help us. I suggested staying in touch through mentorship, and have signed up to mentor other oSTEM women and nonbinary individuals in the future. In all, I had a great time and look forward to seeing everyone again at future conferences.

Interested in attending a Professional Development conference? Apply for a grant to help offset your registration fee and travel expenses! Learn more about GWISE’s PDG program and apply here.