Friday, 19 February 2016

Career Snapshot - Crystal Snyder - Undergraduate Research Coordinator - Undergraduate Research Initiative

With Valentine's Day around the corner, we caught up with Crystal Snyder from the Undergraduate Research Initiative to learn about some of the reasons that she loves her job. 

Nine not-necessarily obvious reasons I love my job
I’m that person. The one who will tell anyone who asks (and many who don’t) how much I love my job. Four years ago, I left a career as a lab manager to coordinate what was then a sparkly new Undergraduate Research Initiative. It has been an incredible adventure. Here are just nine of the million and one reasons I’ve never looked back.

1. Students. They’re the reason I’m here, and why I love working at the university. Their energy, excitement, curiosity and creativity continually inspire me, and I feel privileged to help them along in their journey.

2. My co-workers. I love that we truly support one another. We have diverse backgrounds, skills, and talents, but we share the same values when it comes to supporting students.

3. Making a difference.  I am truly fortunate to have a job where I get to see the direct impact of my efforts.  I love it when students drop by to let me know they found a research position, published their first paper, 3D printed a heart, or found their place in the U of A community.

4. My office.  My door is always open to students, and I love that my office space reflects that.

5. Our startup spirit. URI is still the new kid on campus (launched in 2011), and we’re a small office trying to make a big impact. I love the challenge of building a program that reaches across campus and across disciplines. And I love the things that make URI different from other undergraduate research programs in Canada.

6.  The relationships. We may sometimes be the “little office that could,” but we don’t do it alone. I love that we have so many dedicated allies and collaborators on campus -- I have worked on campus for over a decade, but the last few years at URI have really made U of A feel like home.

7. The fit.  There is no way I could have ever planned my way into this job (I grew up with ambitions of being a veterinarian), but I love that it puts all of my interests to work. I am a researcher by training, a writer by nature, and a teacher at heart. Here, I get to do it all, and feed by own passion for learning along the way.

8. Growth.  Sometimes, even my awesome, amazing job is really hard. I’m an introvert with a highly extroverted job. Perfectionism & self-criticism are my super powers. I take failure personally. But I love that my work keeps me honest about my own struggles, and helps me grow personally and professionally.

9. Questions.  My first week in this job, I scribbled down what was to become URI’s tagline: “A question can take you anywhere.” I love the questions that brought me here, and where they might take me next.

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