«Brought to you by: Tips for Making the Most of the STEM Networking Night This event happens just once each year and brings a multitude of ...»
Brought to you by:
Tips for Making the Most of the
STEM Networking Night
This event happens just once each year and brings a multitude of professionals just to meet YOU - freshmen through
seniors from ANY major or discipline wanting to explore entry points to STEM-related jobs and internships - let our
guests help you gain a better vantage point into finding the right “fit” for your skills and interests.
This is NOT a career fair, so guests won’t be standing behind tables. No need to bring a resume, either. This “mixer” format is a lot of fun and makes meeting people less intimidating and more enjoyable for everyone!
Use this Event Guide before arriving and throughout the evening. Taking time now to identify people you’d like to talk to and questions you might have will help you to feel more at ease before you begin mingling. The information on the next few pages will provide you with some background information of the attending professionals as well as a basic breakdown of key career and academic avenues in data science.
Networking is nothing more than conversation between people getting to know one another. Your strategy? Simple.
Take an active interest in your conversation partner! Smile, offer a firm handshake, and lead off by sharing your name and a few bits of information you think your listener might like to know about you (i.e. year in school, academic background, and potential career interests - keep it brief). Follow by indicating something about their background that interests you, and you’re off and running!
Still feeling nervous? Try watching others to see how they approach conversation. Don’t stand in single file... it’s quite okay to approach people already talking. Just form a semi-circle around the guest and you’ll benefit from hearing other students’ questions. This can feel awkward, so here are the steps: walk up at a polite distance, make eye contact with those talking, then listen and await a verbal OR nonverbal cue to join in. When someone makes eye contact, that’s your opportunity to politely break in and introduce yourself. Be sure to return the favor when others want to join in with you!
Not sure what to talk about? Here are some sample questions you might ask a guest: What were you studying as an undergraduate? How did you get interested in this subject matter and specific role? What traits and skills are necessary to do well? What training or advanced degrees did you find necessary? What does your average day or week look like?
What aspects of your job do you find most rewarding - or challenging? What are the best ways I can gain experience?
Don’t spend all of your time talking to one person. Stretch your comfort zone and aim to meet multiple professionals.
Keep conversations brief - a polite thank you (or a wave and smile if they are talking with others) is a good way to exit.
Before leaving a conversation, it’s customary to ask a guest for a business card. This step is very important, because it allows you to reach out after the event - perhaps to request a one-on-one conversation in a less-crowded setting at a slower pace. TIP: It’s good etiquette to send a ‘thank you’ after this event, highlighting something memorable about your conversation. Building relationships is NOT a “one and done” - they take follow up and initiative to work.
Professional Bios Industry Professionals Tim Adkins Creative Producer, SUPPLY.com Tim is the Creative Producer at SUPPLY.com, creating engaging content and crafting stories that highlight their team and unique services. Tim is an experienced digital marketer with a passion for building relationships and helping others achieve their goals. Tim co-founded F*ckUp Nights Atlanta, is a board member of the Kyle Pease Foundation, consults social entrepreneurs and is the co-founder of Pakmode Media + Marketing.
Adonis Bovell Threat Research Engineer, Damballa Adonis Bovell has been conducting research and engineering work in cybersecurity for the past 3 years.
Currently he works as a Threat Research Engineer at Damballa; a small network intrusion detection company based in Atlanta. In that role he builds tooling to facilitate threat tracking, and to garner insights about new threats from large datasets. Adonis graduated from Emory with a PhD in Physics and a MSc in Computer Science.
Atlee Breland Manager - Website Development / Site Ops, CareerBuilder Atlee Breland is the engineering manager for TalentStream Recruit, CB’s applicant tracking system. She came to CB in January 2015 after over 15 years of consulting, contracting, and freelance development experience across a variety of industries. In addition to her software development expertise, Atlee’s fluency in French is a significant asset when managing her international team of US- and France-based developers. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Atlee holds an undergraduate degree in French and Classics (Greek) from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s in computer science from Mississippi College.
Trent Brunson Research Scientist, Georgia Tech Research Institute Dr. Brunson is a research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute. Since 2012, he has worked to deliver research and technologies to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFoSR), and the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His work covers many technical areas including complex network analysis, natural language processing, programming language development, cryptography, software assurance, computer network security, and insider threat research. He has also been heavily involved with recruiting new talent and proposal writing. He received his PhD in physics from Emory in 2014.
Tony Choi Software Engineer II, CareerBuilder Tony graduated from Georgia Tech in 2012 (Computer Science). He has over 4 years of experience as a software engineer and has been with CareerBuilder since March 2015.
Professional Bios Industry Professionals Adrian Epps Associate Dean for Science and Mathematics Education, Kennesaw State University Adrian Epps received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clark-Atlanta University and B.A. degree in Chemistry and M.Ed. degree in Science Education from Emory University. His responsibilities involve supporting programming to recruit, retain, and prepare secondary science and mathematics teachers. In March of 2010, he was appointed to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission by Governor Perdue and reappointed by Governor Deal in July 2011. Prior to coming to KSU in 2007, he spent over 18 years in various roles in Atlanta Public Schools (APS). In his last role as Director of Mathematics and Science Initiatives for APS.
Charles Greenwald Actuarial Analyst, Aetna Charles graduated from Emory in May 2013, majoring in Economics. He started out as an Actuarial Intern at Aetna in January 2015. He started working as a Full-Time analyst in April 2015 doing Actuarial Shared Services for the Southeast region. He recently switched over to specifically represent the Georgia and Louisiana markets. He is mainly responsible for data pulling, maintaining, and analyzing. He recently worked on a project to determine relative hospital and physician costs among the different Counties in Georgia.
Todd Harwell Regional Recruiter, US Peace Corps Todd Harwell is a Regional Recruiter for the U.S. Peace Corps. He served as an Environmental Management Peace Corps Volunteer in Perú (2012-2014), responsible for training park guards of a marineprotected area, as well as creating projects to broaden and strengthen ecotourism practices. He also led an Environmental Club in the local primary school, hosted a weekly radio program, and taught conversational English to local fishermen. Todd is a native of Canton, GA, and holds a B.S. in Marine Science from Coastal Carolina University and an M.S. in Environmental Education from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Zachary Kimble Data Scientist, Home Depot Zach is a data scientist in the supply chain department at The Home Depot. His work involves improving the algorithms that drive our automated replenishment systems as well as using statistical methods to diagnose day-to-day operational problems. Zach is interested in statistical programming (R and Python) and wrangling big data. He has a Bachelor's in Political Science, an MBA, and a Masters in Business Analytics.
Wesley Lambert CFO, The Velocity Group Wesley Lambert is an American/Australian entrepreneur & restaurateur and current CFO of the Velocity Group, a group of retail, wholesale, manufacturing, property, hospitality consulting, & pharmaceutical companies. He received his BBA from Emory University in 2000 and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Finance from Harvard University.
Professional Bios Industry Professionals Anna Lesichar Environmental Engineer, Georgia Dept. of Environmental Protection Anna is an engineer and later life paralegal, with nearly 30 years experience in the environmental engineering field primarily serving the public sector at state and federal levels. Founder of sole proprietorship consulting firm assisting private clients with environmental challenges. Expertise includes regulatory compliance and enforcement involving permitted air facilities, abandoned and active hazardous waste sites and environmental remediation.
Zhe Liang Lab Manager / Research Associate, Emory University Zhe Liang. PhD in neuroscience. Lab manager and Research Associate in Dr. Craig Coopersmith lab. Craig is a professor of Surgery. He also is the Director of 5E Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and associate Director of Emory Critical Care Center. Zhe joined Craig’s highly dynamic lab since 2009. From conducting research, she has been working on different projects in sepsis. From managing lab, she gains on experience in communicating with different people with different background and culture. The lab has got four RO1s and expanded continuously.
John Marks COO / CIO, Automobile Protection Corporation John joined APCO in 2003 as CFO and assumed responsibility for IT in 2005. In 2015, he transitioned to the COO position, combining the business processing and IT teams to align and focus on process enhancements. Prior to joining APCO, John worked for Ford Motor Company for 25 years. He held positions in Engineering, IT and Finance, encompassing many functional areas, and an international assignment in Sao Paulo, Brazil. John obtained multiple degrees from the University of Michigan, earning a B.S. in Biology, a B.S. in Computer Science and a MBA with a Finance concentration.
Emma Mustafa Pricing Analyst, Delta Air Lines Emma is a domestic Pricing Analyst at Delta Air Lines, concentrating on Pricing in British Columbia, Canada to and from the US. Emma graduated from Emory in 2014 with a BA in Mathematics & Economics. She worked in the Office of Residence Life as a Fellow for the 2014-2105 academic year before starting her position in Revenue Management at Delta in August 2015. Emma loves to travel using her flight benefits and looks forward to more trips in the future, including a visit to Hawaii in May and Italy in July.
Matt Peach Director - Actuarial, Aetna Matt is an Actuarial Director at Aetna and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. He started his Actuarial career doing consulting work at Milliman, and has been with Aetna since 2011. He has worked in many different facets of Aetna’s actuarial department, ranging from Commercial and Medicare case level pricing to Small/Large group manual rating. He has also worked on Health Care Reform related pricing and filing.
He currently is responsible for maintaining, developing, and improving Rating Methodologies for Commercial, Local & Regional Business.
Professional Bios Industry Professionals Monte Pinkett VP of IT, Automobile Protection Corporation Monte Pinkett, VP of IT for Automobile Protection Corporation (APCO), responsible for technology decisions to support the enterprise has over 25 years’ experience leading business systems transformations and strategic application development to achieve successful IT/business alignments. Prior to joining APCO, Pinkett served as IT Senior Manager at The Home Depot, responsible for Import Supply Chain Mgmt Apps and customer facing systems. Pinkett began his career programming at IBM, where he developed submarine radar systems, built IBM’s first EDI translator and led efforts for National Language Support. Pinkett received a BS degree in Computer Science from Hampton University.
Matthew Steinberg DevOps Engineer, Ignitonone Matthew Steinberg has been working in the tech community since he started at Emory in 2005. Serving in multiple roles from business analyst to Linux systems engineer, he serves as a devops engineer in a leading AdTech company. His focus is on automation, process improvement, and integrating metrics with useful analysis. Some of the main technologies he currently works with are Chef, TeamCity, Git, AWS, and PowerMTA.
MaKendra Umstead PhD Candidate in Cancer Biology, Emory University MaKendra Umstead is a PhD Candidate in Cancer Biology at Emory. While receiving her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from North Carolina Central University, MaKendra’s passion for cancer research was kindled through family experiences and an internship at Merck Research Laboratories. There, her work characterized the stability of new cancer drugs. MaKendra is now completing her dissertation which focuses on elucidating the role of novel protein interactions in the development of cancer, potentially providing new therapeutic targets for the disease. An engaging leader in and out of the lab, MaKendra has also participated in numerous campus organizations and teaching opportunities.
Jodi-Ann Wray Senior Quantitative Rick Management Analyst / Banking Officer, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Jodi-Ann Wray works in enterprise risk management as a Senior Quantitative Risk Management Analyst at Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta. In her position she focuses on model development and enhancements, credit risk management, stress testing processes, risk assessment analyses, and data integrity. She is passionate about all things finance and in her spare time volunteers as a budget coach in a seven week financial workshop offered three times per year. Jodi-Ann is a graduate of Emory University and Georgia Institution of Technology.