Amanda Kopil: My next steps after graduating from Albright

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The end is near! I mean this in the best way possible, however. My very first semester as a graduate student has come and is passing me by before my eyes. Although, I believe when semesters go by in a flash that is an indication that it was a good one! Great, new beginnings are in the horizon for me I believe. I am officially going to the American Meteorology Society (AMS) conference in Phoenix, AZ this January. This was an opportunity that I could not pass up. I will be attending with my adviser and fellow graduate students for a week. At the conference, I plan on networking until I fall over! Networking is such an important aspect of a professional career because those one-time connections could be the gate to a new career. There are some important things to keep in mind while I am attending this conference and meeting tons of people: keep copies of my resume on hand, always dress presentable, have an elevator speech prepared, and maintain a strong persona (and handshake!).

Feeling the end of the semester coming reminds me to reflect on everything that happened. I somehow learned the in’s and out’s of accounting and finance (who would have thought!), which I was very nervous to learn. Accounting and finance is very much out of my science-y comfort zone. This is the one online course that was required for my program. It has surprisingly taught me more than expected and I am very glad I was able to take it. My sustainability course turned out to be a well-respected favorite. My professor for the course is constantly assisting me with my field experience practicum (internship) search and it has been much appreciated. It is really important to never be afraid to speak with your professors about new opportunities; you never know what kind of connections they have! This always includes your advisor. A student’s advisor can be the most useful tool in their college years. Ask questions, get involved with their research, and take time to analyze ideas with your advisor. My advisor is the reason I am attending the AMS conference this January and I could not be more grateful for his recommendations. As long as you always take a strong leadership role in your life, you will be successful.

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