Amy Mahady

Amy Mahady

Research Assistant


University of Oregon

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
First I volunteered at a vet clinic.
Then I went to college and did the pre-vet curriculum.
Then I worked in Biochemistry, Ecology, Microbiology.
Then I got a Masters in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology doing molecular phylogenetics on fungi.
Then I worked in Neurobiology looking at RNA differences in dorsal root ganglia development.
Then I worked in Biochemistry working on Myotonic dystrophy, an RNA disease.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Biology and Microbiology
Kansas State University
Graduate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Iowa State University

Career

Research Assistant

I perform research, manage a lab, and teach others to do the same.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Science
Art
Problem Solving

Day to Day

A great day at work is when I resolve a conflict between two people, help someone with the wording on their paper, replicate results that confirm a hypothesis, and develop a technique that is faster/easier/cheaper. Some days this happens, often some of the things here happen, occasionally there is total failure. That's okay. Even through failure can we learn something.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

At the age of 9 I started to have an interest in identifying plants. My grandmother and mother encouraged me and I started to press and identify plants, collect soil samples, grow sugar crystals, collect water and look at it through a microscope. Curiosity and a drive to constantly learn is necessary. I was a girl scout through high school and earned my gold award. The leadership training I received absolutely helped me to manage post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Look around. 1.) Volunteer at the places you think you might one day be interested in working at. I volunteered at a vet clinic and I found out I loved the science but not the medicine. One trick: apply for a job that you don't have the credentials for but offer to work for free. 2.) Join a volunteer service: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, AmeriCorp. You need a mixed bag of leadership and other skills. 3.) Find a mentor to encourage you. 4.) Interview an expert, you'll be surprised by their answers.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Biology and Microbiology
graduate
Graduate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"Can you even get a job?" "Can you support yourself?" "So, how many years in school does that take?" "It's a man's world, you probably won't end up doing it." "Are you going to teach?"

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Drugs / Addiction