Back in November, I had the chance to be on the Master’s student panel for the BME department’s Industry Advisory Board strategic meeting. Every year, the department asks for 4-5 students from each of the undergraduate, Master’s and PhD programs for 3 student panels, where students will volunteer inputs on the dept. It’s a fun, informative, and valuable experience.
It gives us a chance to help shape the curriculum, resources, and priorities of the dept. It’s a strategic, long-term meeting so of course, students usually avoid bringing in petty problems like “this professor speaks in a monotone.” The industry representatives who form the board are often USC alumni or have ties to USC and are currently CEOs and VPs of various biomedical or related companies. They care about the dept and are open-minded and eager to hear our views. They ask for recommendations on how to fix the problems we’ve found, and insightfully question us to get to the root issues.
Their seniority and genuine interest is intimidating at first because what can I say that they don’t already know? And then, whatever I do say is taken seriously so it’s important to think carefully about what it is I really want. Last year, I had prepared a couple points but the 45 minutes per student group went by so fast, I couldn’t express myself succintly in the time I had. This year, I knew better and prepared myself for time to run out.
I always learn something from participating, either from hearing other students’ perspectives or from the advice and approach the advisory board members use.
I’ve done this two years in a row – hooray! I believe that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. In other words, help solve the problem or quit complaining! 🙂 As long as I have any complaints or suggestions about the BME department, I’m going to take any opportunity to provide feedback to make my department better.
Published on December 15th, 2016
Last updated on August 29th, 2017