Alumni Profile: Tiffany Ha, MS Chemistry ’13
We caught up with the COS Alumni Chapter’s VP of Events Tiffany Ha. Check her out in our latest Alumni Profile.
Mason Degree: Chemistry BS ’10, MS ’13
Occupation: Scientific Project Analyst for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
I chose Mason for my Master’s because…I did my Bachelor’s at Mason and transitioned into graduate school. At the time, I was pursuing research and wanted to continue my work with Dr. Bishop and deepen my knowledge in scientific research.
My favorite Mason memories are…going with friends or classmates to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks or the former Jazzman’s. My dearest friends come from Mason, and I still talk to them to this day.
I advise current students to…network and do informational interviews! It’s said time and time again, but it works.
Connect with me on LinkedIn!
More from the COS interview with Tiffany Ha
Are you currently involved in any career-related organizations?
I’m the VP of Events of the COS Alumni Chapter. Not officially involved but I do attend some events involving the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and some DC/VA/MD meetups.
Professionally, what makes you most proud?
I’m proud to be a team player who helps drive the overall accomplishment of my team. I don’t see myself as making waves of conducting daily experiments until I realize I’m one of three people to test over 1,000 samples in 2 years. I don’t see myself winning awards in setting up meetings in outlook or writing up reports at the NIH. However, I’m proud to be a part of a team at NIH who are helping get therapeutics for populations with rare diseases or tropical neglected diseases into clinical trials. The little things I do count to the overall picture.
What is your favorite Mason memory?
Not a specific memory, but I love moments like going with your friends or classmates to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks or the former Jazzman’s. Those 30 minutes to an hour can be about schoolwork or life, but it was really therapeutic and helped me through my studies. My dearest friends come from Mason, and I still talk to them to this day.
As VP of Events for the COS Alumni Chapter, how do you plan and coordinate events?
Planning events is a team effort – I have immense support from the Board and the College of Science staff to pull it all together. We try to plan and create events that serves the needs of our alumni and our students.
What tips do you have for current undergrad and graduate students?
- Networking and informational interviews! It’s said time and time again, but it works. Talk to friends, talk to professors, talk to people at networking events (COS Alumni Chapter Happy hours is a great start), talk to alumni, talk to strangers, talk to everybody. You learn so much from people’s experiences and open yourself up to opportunities you never would have known about.
- I am a huge fan of online courses to build a different skill set beyond my major, whether it’s computer programming, business management, or how to write reports. I’ve used Coursera, and am learning how to use Microsoft Excel and Project through Lynda (lynda.gmu.edu) [which current students have unlimited access to for free].
- Use glassdoor.com to have a good idea how much you should ask for salary negotiations, and also about the company you are applying for.
What’s an interesting fact about you?
I used to be a breakdancer as an undergrad and used to practice all the time at the JC Dance Studio!