Emma Lasky '18 was a biology major and environmental studies minor at Bryn Mawr and will begin graduate school this fall, working toward a Master's in Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley.
Emma recently returned to campus as part of the Career & Civic Engagement Office’s Alumnae/i in Residence program (note: this program is being held virtually for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year).
In the below Q&A, Emma talks about finding her career passion, the value of attending a women's college, and more.
How did you get involved in your current field?
Having grown up romping around federal lands in California, I always had an inclination to work in ecology. While at Bryn Mawr, I tried to find any ecology related paid internships and seasonal jobs that could provide me adequate skills necessary for establishing myself as a prime candidate for permanent positions. Permanent ecological jobs are incredibly competitive, so my early effort to gain experience through internships, volunteering, and short-term positions aided me greatly in getting my most recent job as a land manager, which I had been employed as for two years.
What part of your Bryn Mawr experience has been most important to your professional development?
Professors and the liberal arts education. Though some professors can be intimidating, they love nothing more than to get to know their students and see them overcome challenges and succeed. I heavily relied on my professors as advisors, recommenders, and for encouragement - go sit in on their office hours and chat with them! My liberal arts experience provided me an exceptional education involving not only science-related courses, but humanities courses that have proven invaluable to me in professional situations and in general.
What career advice do you have for current Bryn Mawr students?
Take advantage of any extra opportunities at Bryn Mawr. I took a spring break intensive, which provided me the chance to network with a bunch of scientists and that experience landed me an internship with the US Forest Service. Cold email people. Often. I found it incredibly informative to chat with people who were conducting interesting research, participating in cool graduate programs, or who had my dream job. Conversing with people who are working in your field of interest will help you understand how achievable your career dreams are and provide knowledge on the best way to get there.
What made you choose to attend Bryn Mawr?
I toured Bryn Mawr during the springtime, and the blooming cherry blossoms and eerie stillness of the collegiate gothic campus drew me in. I had not heard of the college until my senior year of high school, but I can say with certainty that I am so grateful I attended Bryn Mawr. I consider myself to be a determined, resilient, and conscientious woman. Without Bryn Mawr’s arduous curriculum, the incredibly caring friends I made, and learning to conquer the emotional and intellectual challenges that come with high stress environments, I doubt I would have ever become who I am today.