StudentSpeak is pleased to share this guest post from Kelly Chacón, who graduates June 5 with her doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
For Part I of Kelly’s post, click here.
Finally my fifth year arrived. I was ready to finish, even if I wasn’t actually ready to finish. My third paper was published, which is the deal we make for graduation in my lab. And I was accepted to give a little “data blitz” at my sub-field’s main scientific conference. A key professor saw me give that 5-minute, ridiculous presentation (I’m sure 3MT’ers can relate), and invited me to give a real talk at another conference. That was terrifying, and awesome, and I accidentally switched the U and the L in the word “results” on my slide.
I’ll let you spell that out.
I only mention those talks because they led to something unexpected. At that conference, I invited a professor to give a joint seminar for OHSU and Portland State (my alma mater). While having a beer with the speaker after their seminar, a friend alerted me to an open assistant professor position in chemistry at Reed College, here in Portland. Reed?! That’s my dream job! But I’m sure it’s too soon. Nevertheless, I decided to send in an agonized-over cover letter, if only to develop some resilience to being rejected. It turned out that Reed and I were actually soul mates. After three months and a long interview process, I was offered the job! And all because of a 5-minute data blitz.