Grad School Wishes the Best for its Outgoing GTFs

The Graduate School is sad to see all four of its GTFs leave the office after this school year. However, we are also excited for their upcoming opportunities, whether they are pursuing careers following graduation or moving to GTF positions within their field. Each has provided essential support to the Graduate School’s daily operations – including event support, research, database management, development of student surveys, communications support, and website maintenance.

Jordan Bloem – Communications GTF

Jordan (pictured) is graduating this term as valedictorian of his class in the MBA program, with emphasis in Sports Marketing.  He’s headed to Chicago, Illinois, where opportunities abound. He came to Eugene specifically for his program but grew to love Eugene for its access to the outdoors. “So many great hiking areas are within just a few hours’ drive, including the coast, the Cascades, Smith Rock, not to mention Mt. Pisgah, Spencer’s Butte, and the 12 mile Eugene Ridgeline hiking system right here in town,” he says. He couldn’t help but mention the laidback atmosphere of Eugene, with all its restaurants and microbreweries. To succeed as a graduate student with a GTF position, Jordan suggests focusing on time management and scheduling-- and finding enough time for sleep.

Abhijit Alur – Data Management GTF

This summer, Abhijit will complete his master’s degree in Computer and Information Science and plans to pursue a job in the United States. While in Eugene, Abhijit has enjoyed the rainy weather and the friendly people. His words of wisdom for graduate students with GTF positions: “Try taking it easy when things don’t go well. Such situations are bound to happen and they will probably make you stronger.”

Alia Yasen – Diversity Affairs GTF

A current Human Physiology Student, Alia is graduating with her master’s degree this summer and staying to pursue her PhD. In the Fall, she will begin her teaching position in the department of Human Physiology as an Anatomy teaching assistant. Though Alia is an Oregon native, she discovered a love of biking here in the bike-friendly city of Eugene. When asked for words of wisdom to give graduate students who hold GTF positions, Alia said, “I would advise students to never take their GTF position for granted, because not all graduate students at the university will have the opportunity to be a GTF. This is a valuable time in your life where you are actually being employed to learn. Experiences and skills acquired from every type of GTF position (research, teaching, outreach, etc.) have the potential to enrich your graduate education and your life as a graduate student in general. My position at the Grad School has allowed me to meet many wonderful people whom I now consider my mentors.”

Aniko Drlik-Muehleck – Graduate Recruitment GTF

In the fall, Aniko (pictured) will begin her second year as a master’s student in the Community and Regional Planning program. She is moving on to hold a GTF position with the Community Service Center (CSC), specifically as a project manager for the CSC’s Community Planning Workshop. Aniko also enjoys the bike-friendly nature of the Eugene/Springfield area with its beautiful river paths. She feels the area has all the amenities of a big city while still maintaining the more intimate character of a small town. “Claims that ‘it rains all the time here,’” she says, “are exaggerated. In winter we rarely have a day where the sun does not peek out and summers are gloriously hot and dry.” Her words of wisdom for GTFs are to remember the positions are a lot of work on top of a full course load, but well worth the effort. “Even if the work you do for your GTF does not directly relate to your academic studies, I believe you should approach it as an equally important mechanism for building your skillset. You may be surprised how much overlap there actually is between your coursework and your GTF work.

Thank you for your support over the past years! We wish you the very best.

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