Reflections on Wrapping Up at UR

By May 14, 2014 March 20th, 2015 Blog Posts

It seemed like yesterday I had just received my BS degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester and was super excited to begin my new year in the TEAM MS program. It’s amazing and crazy how fast this year flew by and that I am just weeks away from receiving my Master’s degree in this unique major. I guess it is true that time flies when you’re having fun. This year was not just filled with knowledge in entrepreneurship, but with memories with new friends along with wonderful experiences. As I prepare to move on to the next chapter in my life, it is only appropriate that I reflect on the important moments that made my extra year at Rochester extraordinary.

Transitioning from a four-year undergraduate lifestyle to a separate yearlong graduate program was very different, to say the least. Not only was I learning a new area of engineering, but I was also meeting new classmates since many of my close friends from undergrad had left Rochester. Most of my TEAM classmates are international and from various parts of the world; so establishing a relationship with them was very exciting. Learning about their cultures and work ethic as well as sharing our diverse life experiences was very cool. Another experience I loved from the year was attending different events that the TEAM program planned while being able to share our culture with the international students. An example I remember vividly was teaching the new students about the rules of baseball at the Rochester Red Wings game and how thrilled they were to be watching a live game. This and other memories really made this year interesting for me.

On top of my new social life, the program itself brought about so many novel educational skills. The first is my improvement in presenting in front of a group of people. I feel much more confident in delivering my presentation with articulation and answering questions with certainty. Another opportunity I enjoyed was the ability to be involved in building up a new venture and writing a business plan. Performing market analysis and organizing the financials has made me much more proficient in comprehending the business side of engineering. Entering the different business competitions such as the Mark Ain Business Model Competition and the New York State Business Plan was definitely a unique opportunity to pitch our ideas to judges.

With the end of my Master’s degree approaching, I now feel ready to begin the next part in my life. I am thrilled to bring my business and technical familiarity to the work force and eventually start my own company. From the job interviews I have had already, the hiring managers were thoroughly impressed by my TEAM degree and what I have gained from it. It’s always hard to leave a place such as the University of Rochester that has been my home for 5 years. But after this year, I feel much more prepared to utilize my skills, experiences, creativity, organization, and leadership in my next job.



– Stephen Zhang ’14 (MS) Stephen Zhang