Jeeban Panthi, graduate research assistant at University of Rhode Island, Department of Geosciences, takes a break from hydrogeophysical modeling to share how he received important guidance on his career path during his On To the Future (OTF) experience.
Pre–GSA 2019 Questions
What are your expectations for the annual meeting and OTF?
My expectation for the annual meeting is to present my research among the geoscience community, learn about others’ work, and establish a good relationship with the hydrogeology community members. I’m expecting to make connections with other OTF students so that we can share our research activities in the future and potentially collaborate on research projects.
What do you want to get out of the program?
I would like to get constructive comments on my research project and connect with experts in my field (at least one expert each day, five experts from the conference).
What are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to the early career events. The most interesting to me will be the job-related workshop organized to support OTF students.
What would you like your mentor to help with during the meeting?
I would like my mentor to make comments on my poster (my presenting style, poster design, and technical presentation), review my research statement, and my CV. I would also like to hear their personal story about job hunting and their ideas for me about how to find a postdoc position after I graduate from my university.
Post–GSA 2019 Questions
Did OTF meet your expectations?
Yes. OTF provided me with knowledge, networking, and fun.
What was the most impactful aspect of your OTF experience?
The most impactful aspect of my OTF experience was a career event organized for young researchers and OTF students. I enjoyed learning the basic skills of writing a cover letter and résumé for internships and how to fill out job and fellowship applications.
What do you remember most from the annual meeting?
The thing I remember most from the annual meeting is my networking opportunities. I met about ten professors and experts from the hydrogeology sector and I’m still in close contact with them. They could be my potential employers in the future.
What was your mentorship experience like? Would you consider returning to serve as a mentor?
I got constructive comments on my poster and career pathways from my mentors. My mentors are also offering their help throughout my career pathway, like job hunting, applying, and interviewing. Yes, I’ll be happy to transfer my mentorship experience as a mentor in the future.
After your OTF experience, how do you see OTF influencing or impacting your future?
It is motivating to me. OTF not only supports students financially but also helps for career development and networking. I will never forget my experience as an OTF student.