Honors News Archive

News in Brief

Alumni Spotlight

Nov 30, 2017

Hi, my name is Ga-Young and I work as a research assistant at the VA in Seattle!

My lab is doing research about liver cancer and disease, specifically on the effects of a high cholesterol and fat diet. Being a research assistant at the VA has been a dream! I have the wonderful opportunity to get hands-on experience in all aspects of both clinical and basic wet lab research. So far I have worked collaboratively on an epidemiology project, learned to handle mice, and expanded my skills in basic wet lab techniques — all while getting paid!

Ga-Young in lab coat holding up a beaker
In this picture I am isolating RNA from mouse liver tissue.

It took longer than I'd hoped to find the right employment opportunity, but I'm glad I held out for a job that matches my abilities with my passion. After a lot of searching and interviewing I was connected with Erica Tartaglione through the Honors Program. She told me about all the great opportunities at the VA and introduced me to the lab she used to work for. Erica has been an advocate for me and I thank her for connecting me to this lab and the VA! If you’re excited about research opportunities at the VA, you should talk to Erica too.

Transitioning into full-time work can feel kind of lonely and there's plenty of opportunity for rejection in the application process — but you've probably got more skills and experience than you realize. No matter what kind of work you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to reach out to your network of friends, family, and the staff and faculty who helped you while at UW. I'm grateful for my friends in the Honors community and will be happy to help new graduates make their school-to-work transition (when I'm established in my own career)!

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Editor's Note:

Erica Tartaglione, '09 (mentioned above) is a member of the volunteer-led Honors Program Advisory Board and loves connecting with students and alumni of Honors! To contact Erica or other alumni from different industries for advice about work, grad school, best local hikes, empanada recipes, and more, email Alumni Relations & Communications Specialist Carey Christie: forcarey@uw.edu.