Mentoring as a Common Thread
Written by Annmarie Uliano, an MS in Engineering Management student.
Annmarie Uliano is a Double Husky, currently a graduate student pursuing an MS in Engineering Management. She received her BS in Industrial Engineering in 2015. She is a Galante Engineering Business Fellow, supervisor and teaching assistant in the COE Freshman Engineering Tutoring Center, the Vice President of Programs and co-founder of the American Society for Engineering Management, and member and past President of the Society of Women Engineers. Outside of NU, she is a foodie, enjoys kayaking, and is a reality TV super fan.
Mentorship as a Common Thread
I became involved in the Society of Women Engineers immediately after starting at Northeastern. Living in the Connections LLC for female engineers, we would travel to SWE meetings together in a group. At SWE, we were always welcomed by strong upperclasswomen leaders who set excellent examples for inclusivity and involvement. Over the years, I developed relationships with the leaders before me, my peers, and students in the grades below me. We learned professional skills from seasoned professionals and from each other. We created bonds through common struggles in difficult coursework and by traveling to national conferences together. I formed so many informal mentoring relationships, and three formal mentorships – two through the NU chapter’s program (Shout out to my mentees!) and one through the Collegiate Leadership Institute at the SWE National Conference in Los Angeles in 2014. These formal networking programs were invaluable in sharing resources and experiences to help future generations of female engineers succeed.
Not long after getting involved in SWE, I met Assistant Dean Rachelle Reisberg, who is a huge proponent for the success of females in engineering. I had the opportunity to work closely with her as Treasurer to learn to balance the books for the group and as President in planning events. Over the years, she became a mentor to me, guiding me and encouraging me in my studies and my extracurricular activities. This relationship helped me learn of an opportunity to go to graduate school at Northeastern. Under her direction, I’ve been supervising the COE Freshman Tutoring Center. My experience in the office has been invaluable. Although I don’t always know the answers to difficult homework problems, I’ve enjoyed teaching students problem-solving techniques and providing them words of encouragement when they seem defeated. I’ve seen a huge growth in the volume coming through the office which is very exciting and clear that the techniques I’ve encouraged for teaching amongst the staff are on the right track and working for students. I’ve met some really bright and fun students and have certainly been impacted by working with them!
I also had the opportunity to gain more mentoring experience through my extracurriculars during my time in Grad school. I am part of the Galante Engineering Business Program, and have participated in the formal networking program that was set up to support new Galante fellows. I’ve benefitted from getting to know my mentee and offering guidance in starting in the program. I have gained a lot from her as well as she is working full-time in biotech, a field I am hoping to break into. I have also had the opportunity to set up a student chapter of the American Society for Engineering Management. With my experience in SWE, I have gained a lot of relevant knowledge that I have been able to pass along to the rest of the executive board and the members of our organization. I’ve really enjoyed helping others learn the system and working to building the stepping stones to a permanent staple for the Engineering Management program.
I have had numerous academic advisors, faculty, and staff throughout my time at Northeastern, who have helped encourage and inspire me. So many of you have been there for me during good times and bad. You’ve guided me to pick back up when I thought my situation was the end of the world. There are so many examples of this, from changing my major, to personal challenges, and surviving Capstone!
My advice to all–new students, upperclassmen, grad students, faculty and staff–is to work to find a connection with all those you interact with during your time at Northeastern. You never know what benefits you can gain from them or pass along to them. It all starts with being friendly and looking for ties that bond you. Take advantage of all the opportunities given to you at Northeastern, and make the most of your time here. My journey at Northeastern started 7 years ago, and the time flew by. Being a Double Husky who went straight through, I had the opportunity to expand and extend relationships, and learn even more about campus, culture, and the University in general. Thank you to all those who have shaped this experience for me.