During Winter Quarter 2021, the Health Care & Science Career Community team sat down with DePaul students to learn about the educational and career journey of DePaul alumna Nia Hurst (’14). From an Environmental Sciences major to working as a Research Biologist in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nia shared her story of getting involved at DePaul, gaining experience with research labs, and her current job responsibilities. In this event, she highlighted the power of networking because the connections she made opened doors to so many opportunities.
Words of wisdom from Nia
Nia on building her network and maximizing connections:
“I think it’s really true that you have to expand your network and connect with people to let them know what you’re interested in. Expressing what your interests are to as many people as you can like your advisor and other graduate students. I would also really recommend going to events like conferences, luncheons, and other networking events.”
Nia on the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
“When there is a regional issue that needs to be addressed (e.g., wetland development to offset phosphorus pollution, mangrove forest development to alleviate hurricane impact), we conduct longitudinal research studies on best practices for that regional development project. There are a lot of different projects. It’s applied research that you do for the sake of knowledge.”
Nia on the diversity of scientific roles available in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
“I’m a research biologist, but we work with engineers, statisticians, computer specialists. There’s a lot of people to build out a team with, a lot of opportunities for a lot of different types of scientists.”