Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Kelly Kyker-Snowman
Name: Kelly Kyker-Snowman
Occupation: Lab Technician at University of Rochester
Education (UR and additional): Master’s and Bachelor’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering at University of Rochester
Current job title: Lab Technician
Current employer: University of Rochester
Current city/state of residence: Rochester, NY
Family: Father and younger sister
Community activities: Dance at Roc City Dance, volunteering at Gilda’s Club
When and how did you choose your major(s)?
I chose Biomedical Engineering early – it has the great aspects of engineering, with all of its interesting problems and straightforward theories, as well as a background in biological sciences and applications therein.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I am currently a lab technician at the University of Rochester. I have always known that I wanted to get into cancer research, but decided to take time off between my Master’s and returning to graduate school for a PhD in order to improve my research experience and candidacy as an applicant. My current occupation has given me valuable experience in research and also been an excellent source of recommendations.
What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?
Although my engineering courses were among my favorite classes, the thorough background in biological sciences and research techniques has been more useful to my current position. The opportunity to acquire both made for an excellent education, however.
Where would you like to be in five years?
In five years, I would like to be finishing a PhD program in Cancer Biology, specifically researching early detection for Ovarian Cancer, and on my way to leading research in this area.
How are you still connected with the University?
I am still employed by the University: in my post-graduation job search, my best connections were with the University, and it was the first employer at which I could find work that would lend the research experience that I needed.
What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?
Regardless of how in demand your major is, the job market is definitely tough right now. As an undergraduate, it is absolutely worth it to make as many connections as possible with professionals doing interesting work in your area of interest. And don’t give up – eventually, you will find work that is rewarding and interesting. Also, the 3-2 program (for the degrees that have it) is and excellent option!