Alumni Spotlight: Dianna Huisman
University of Northern Iowa - Class of 2018
Dianna studied Biology and Biochemistry, graduating with a BA from the University of Northern Iowa. She is now currently attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center as a graduate student.
How are you sharing your time and/or talents with others now? How do you hope to do so in the future?
I have had the privilege of mentoring undergraduate and high school students during my graduate school experience. Through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) and the High School Alliance Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, I have been able to work with students, giving them lab experience and preparing them for future work in graduate school. I am excited to continue working with students through these programs, as well as mentoring graduate students when I have my own lab in the future.
What was your experience interviewing for your first job? Do you have any tips to share?
As a graduate student, I had a unique experience interviewing for my first job after graduation. I was able to interview at two graduate schools, and the process was much different from interviewing for a traditional job. My experience was that it was equally important for me to make sure the lab I would work in was a good fit for me and would support my career aspirations.
One tip I would share is to be as prepared to ask questions as you are to answer them. Your potential employer will be excited to see you interested in understanding your role, and asking questions shows that you are engaged in the conversation and dedicated to doing your best at the job.
Where are you now in your career? Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
I am currently a graduate student pursuing my PhD in Cancer Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In the next five years, I hope to graduate with my PhD and begin working as a post-doc in a well-respected and productive laboratory. Within 10 years, I hope to be running my own research laboratory, with a focus on cancer research.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
One of my biggest inspirations in life is my older sister, Amanda. She was the first in our family to go to college, and she earned her master’s degree at UNI. She has always been a big supporter of me and has set a great example of working hard and succeeding in life.
What is your favorite hobby?
I’m a runner! I’ve done several 15K and half marathons and one full marathon.