#BulldogOnTheJob: Emily

Editor’s Note: We’re trying something new this year. We are interviewing various UMD Alumni about how their experiences at UMD have impacted their professional lives. They will also be giving their advice for being successful out there in the real world.

Name: Emily Purvis
Major: Psychology (with focus in Industrial/Organizational applications)
Grad Date: December 2013

Organization, title, and a brief synopsis of what you do
Essentia Health, Content Management Specialist. My job is a mix of content management, graphic design, web design, and communication management. I manage the HR related pages of the employee intranet as well as create documents, images, and videos relating to HR topics such as benefits, payroll, retirement, etc. I also develop internal resources to assist the HR department document their processes and streamline their work.

What were the jobs, opportunities, and/or classes you had that led to your current role?
During my undergraduate in interned in an HR office. That experience helped me be hired as a temp in Essentia’s HR office. Because of my temp role, I then was an excellent candidate for a role that opened up in their call center. While in the call center, I learned many aspects of the HR department, which in turn prepared me for my current role.

What were some of the lessons you learned while on-campus at UMD you’ve incorporated into your professional life?
GET INVOLVED! I attended numerous on-campus events and was part of multiple campus groups, some fun and some professional, but all involved getting to know new people and making connections. Networking is essential in a professional career.

ASK QUESTIONS! When you are new in the field there are things you aren’t going to know, just like in a new class. Don’t be afraid to ask how something works or why it’s done that way. Most people are happy to share their knowledge with you!

What career advice do you have for students wishing to enter your field?
Communication is rapidly evolving – having knowledge of coding is becoming more and more essential to a designer’s toolkit. Having to wait for a coder to get back to you can severely delay progress, so if you can at least learn the basics, it will go a long way.

Anything else you want to add about your time at UMD, or since, that greatly impacted where you are now?
My degree was in psychology, yet I work in more of a digital communications role that focuses on HR content. Your degree is important, but your experiences are equally important. Make sure you find experiences that match where you want to go in the future or create them within your job where possible. For example, my role in the HR Service Center at Essentia did not include creating job aid documents, but I wanted to create them for some of my processes, so I started creating them in my spare time. My supervisor noticed and liked them, so I made more. That experience directly aligned with my current role and made a huge impact during my interview because I had past work to show them.

Read other #BulldogOnTheJob stories!

Interested in Essentia Health? Check out their employment page.

So Bio Is Your Major…

By: Ashley (an actual Biology major)

Ok, so you have taken the leap and declared Biology as your major. Now what? That is the question I asked myself when I arrived here at UMD as a freshman. Biology is a very broad major; there are many different paths one can take with a bachelors degree in biology, whether you want to find a career with your B.S. in Biology or pursue higher education. So, what can you do with a biological science major?

What can you do with a degree in biology?; Leaves

Here are just a few of the major areas one can go into:

Organismal Biology is the aspect of biology that deals with, well, organisms. You can choose to work with plants, animals, cells, and even bugs.  Since biology is such a broad term you could go into various fields, some including ecology, zoology, microbiology, and genetics. Organismal biology is essentially the study of the structure and function of the organism that provides a rich area for investigation and plays a central role in answering conceptual questions about both ecology and evolution. Likely places of employment are zoos, aquariums, museums, veterinary hospitals, and independent labs.

Biomedical Sciences is where a lot of the lab aspect of biology comes in. Here is where you would find yourself if you’re interested in pharmacology, pathology, cellular/molecular biology, and fields like immunology. Now a lot of careers in this field require an advanced degree after you earn your bachelors degree, but many technician, technologist, and assistant positions can be attained with a bachelors degree. Here, likely employment would be at a university, a laboratory, or a health department.

Healthcare, which is the part of biology that includes medicine and the practice of it, is a very large field in itself. This includes but is not limited to things like dentistry, optometry, physical/occupational therapy, and medical technology. In these fields, you should plan on attending medical school or some other related graduate or professional program. Places that would hire you would be hospitals, clinics, and private practice.

These are just three of the major areas one can go into with a B.S. in Biology. There are many other areas you can go into, such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, legislation/law, communication, business, and research. Yes, many of the careers that go with biology coincide with more education. More careers open up to those with masters and doctorate degrees, but that is not to say you can’t achieve a career with a bachelors degree. Like I said before, many lab assistant, technician, technologist, and research assistant positions in industry and government are attainable with a bachelors degree.

An undergraduate degree in biological sciences can also be used in nontechnical work like photography, sales, and writing. If you are still feeling iffy about where to go from here, stop into Career & Internship Services (SCC 22). If you don’t want to go at it alone, make an appointment to speak to one of our counselors. Trust me, they know what they are talking about.

Of Possible Interest:

Read Ashley’s other posts

Photo Source: Unsplash | Ren Ran