Student Success Story: Dawn Eriksen

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From Shy Mouse to Confident Leader

"When I first joined ISPE three years ago, people likened me to a mouse. I was a quiet little girl without much to say. I was intimidated by social situations where I did not know people. This changed with my first step into the professional world at the local ISPE event in Boston, which led to my attendance at an annual conference, and then from there the Washington student leadership conference. At that point, I had learned how to interact with business professionals, to be confident, and to enjoy public speaking.

"However, my learning did not end there. With the help of the professionals who had become my close friends, I entered my research in the ISPE International Student Poster Competition. Not only was I awarded first prize for the competition, but I was offered a full time position after my graduation. The gentleman said he liked "my confidence." And I can tell you with complete certainty: that confidence was obtained through my interactions with ISPE!

"I was also elected as president of my student chapter of ISPE and stood as a role model for the students. I am able to provide for the underclassmen all of the events which I would want to attend, including resume workshops, industrial facility tours, and public speaking skills seminars. I also contacted hiring managers from the industry to visit our school and give informational sessions to our students about how best to present ourselves for a position in the industry.

"I've sat down for dinner with a Director of Process Engineering at Biogen Idec, I've shared stories with the Plant Manager of Astra Zeneca from England, I've asked the Vice President of Genzyme Validations for a favor, I've even hugged the Chairperson of ISPE. After I receive my doctoral degree, I know that ISPE will help me to find a position that is perfect for me doing something I love. ISPE has made me a success and without reservation I urge everyone to become involved."

Dawn Eriksen was President of the ISPE Student Chapter at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and 2006 

ISPE International Student Poster Competition winner, 2006.
 

Last Update: 28 August 2011

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