Student Spotlight

Meera Nair: Building Future Faculty Program 2017

NC State University Building Future Faculty Program 2017

How did you hear about the program?meera nair

My PI (Dr. Venkitanarayanan, Professor, Dept of Animal Science) forwarded me the call for the applications to attend the program since he knows my interest in pursuing an academic career.

What can you tell us about Building Future Faculty Program’s initiatives?

Briefly, the program is targeted to graduate students and post-doctoral scholars who are considering faculty careers in near future. It provides a unique opportunity to the future faculty members an enriching, preparatory experience. The program also aims to increase the faculty diversity to create a workforce that reflects the diversified student populations.

Why did you apply?

I have always envisioned myself in an academic research and teaching career at a research institution. Seeing the announcement I thought this would be an ideal platform to prepare myself to achieve my career goal.

What did you hope would come from your experience when first applying?

When first applying, my idea was to get a better understanding of the inside and outside of a faculty career. I wanted to know whether this is what I want to do with my career. I was also eagerly searching for the information on what makes me a competent candidate in the profession I want to pursue or in other words what are my strengths and weakness in this regard.

What is the best experience or lesson that you have taken away from BFF?

The contacts I acquired and enormous information I embraced during the program are invaluable. I learned a lot about the expectations from a junior faculty at the department, college and university level and several don’t do’s as a candidate in the faculty job market were interesting take home tips.

What future plans do you have that involve your experience with BFF?

I will use the ideas and the knowledge I gained during the program to set the framework for preparing and placing myself as a competent candidate in the faculty jobs. It certainly helped me to identify my strengths and weakness. As I am seeking for a postdoc position to start from this fall, I am working on my visions and strategies based on the experience with the program to achieve my career goals.

What is some advice you would give to future candidates?

I would recommend this program to anyone who seriously considering a career in academia. The connections you make and the experience you share with the fellow participants are unique and exceptional. Therefore, I strongly believe this program will definitely leave a positive impact throughout my research and teaching career.

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