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Pathways to Success Testimonal: Melissa Romanus

The Pathways to Success workshop was extremely beneficial to me, as well as emotional. When I came to BE SIAM I was feeling horrible about having to switch research groups and essentially ‘start over.’ When I heard the stories of the different paths everyone had been on, the struggles they had overcome, and how successful they had become in their fields, it was extremely inspiring to me. After drawing my own pathway, I was inspired to get up and share with the group. There is a large stigma against switching advisors. Although it’s a personal situation that is difficult to talk about, I want other students to know that if they are unhappy in a research group, it is okay to switch groups and do what is best for themselves. I did not know there were other people like me out there. When I switched groups, I felt very alone, and I would not have had the courage to keep going without the encouragement and support of some of my peers and my new advisor. This workshop helped me realize that the route to your goals and dreams does not have to be perfect. In fact, it can be REALLY ‘hilly’ with ‘sharp and unexpected turns.’ But even if the path is non-traditional, you can still get to that endpoint as long as you keep pushing forward