Thanks to the support of donors, Ganiyat Shodunke was able to attend GSA Connects, where she had a great experience meeting and interacting with people, learning, and getting a chance to further professional and personal development.
What was the most impactful aspect of your OTF experience?
I would say that networking and mentorship were the most impactful aspect of my OTF experience. The people I met, including my mentor, helped me to better understand how my Ph.D. program is a great asset for me and how to pilot it to what I want it to be.
What do you remember most from GSA 2021?
I remember the “welcomingness” of people I met. I got to chat with some professors and learn more about their research and life experiences. I also met an OU alumnus with whom I had a long chat about research.
What was your mentorship experience like? Would you consider returning to serve as a mentor?
One of the main reasons I was drawn to apply to be a part of the OTF program was the mentoring opportunity. I got matched with an amazing mentor, Dr. Kathryn Murdock, who is a geophysicist like me and who has been through a Ph.D. program. She reviewed my résumé professionally and gave me useful feedback on things to make it better. Kathryn also gave me advice on the many opportunities that a Ph.D. program in geophysics has to offer. I was encouraged to explore other divisions of GSA, such as the Environmental and Engineering Division (EED). Before this, I had only been a member of the Geophysics Division or Energy Division. It was great to have an opportunity to sit and have a chat with a professional in a safe and encouraging space.
I would definitely sign up to be a mentor. I am willing to share my experience with fellow students, especially undergraduate and graduate students, who are currently navigating a path that I have previously taken. I am hopeful that they might find some of my experiences useful as they navigate their student career.
What would you like to say to donors thinking about supporting programs like OTF?
I am grateful for the donors who made my first GSA annual conference possible. Without their support, the possibility of me attending would have been low. I had a great experience meeting and interacting with people, learning, and getting a chance to further professional and personal development. Donors make this possible. Although I didn’t present at the conference this year, I met a lot of other OTF scholars who gave technical talks and presented posters about their research all because of the support provided to them by the OTF program.