You can get a mentor who is a professional scientist or engineer in industry or government through MentorNet. Apply online at MentorNet.org at anytime during the year. Open to Dartmouth men and women undergraduates, graduates, post docs and junior faculty.
An interview by Serena Chang '05, April 29, 2002.
Name: Dinsie Williams
Class Year: '97
May Dartmouth students contact you? Yes
Dinsie graduated from Dartmouth in June of 1997 with Honors in Engineering Sciences. She continued on to complete her B.E in Biomedical Engineering that August and a M.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering in June 1999. Her earliest college research experience was as a WISP Intern with Geoffrey Nunes in the physics department. Data from her work were published in the Journal of Vacuum Science Technology B. In her sophomore year she successfully convinced the Director of the E.E. Just Program that she had enough credits to qualify for a junior internship program at DHMC where she studied the correlation between Photodynamic therapy and the growth of cancerous cells, under the supervision of Dr. P. Jack Hoopes. She displayed her findings at the 1995 WISP poster symposium at the Top of the Hop!
Her Senior Honors Thesis with Prof. B. Stuart Trembly was on the "Ablation of the Human Fallopian Tube Using Microwave Hyperthermia" and her Masters Thesis with Prof. Keith Paulsen and Prof. Alex Hartov was on the "Characterization and Calibration of an Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy Imaging System". Currently, Dinsie is an Image Quality Development Engineer at GE Medical Systems in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
A couple of periods stand out. I know that when I was about ten, I envisioned myself in a white lab coat, walking along a hospital corridor in soft, non-squeaky shoes helping people get better. I wanted to follow the path of an aunt I was named after who was a medical doctor. Secondly, I used to take radios apart as a child just to see what was on the inside that made them work. On several occasions, I was unsuccessful in putting them back together so I knew I had to learn more about how machines worked.
One day during my first year, I was browsing through some magazines at Feldberg Library when I came across a Biomedical Engineering magazine. At the time I didn't know how significant that event was. That visit to the library essentially changed my path in life. I started attending afternoon symposia of the Biomedical Engineering Society at Thayer School. I did not understand the details of the discussions but I found the topics fascinating. I have been hooked ever since. Discovering biomedical engineering was an epiphany for me. It is the perfect field that allows me to design machines that help provide people with better healthcare.
What science-related activities didn't I participate in? I completed a first year Women in Science Internship, an E.E. Just Internship (two quarters) at DHMC, attended Biomedical colloquia at Thayer school, I was a tutor for SWE & the Academic Center, and I religiously attended E.E. Just forums at the Hanover Inn. My internships helped me decide that Engineering was the path I ought to take.
Yes, I wanted to work in a field where I could help people and learn continuously. By the time I started graduate school, I had narrowed it down to initially working in the biomedical industry or as a technical consultant in another engineering field.
I was eager to put my theoretical skills to practical use and fine-tune my engineering skills. I wanted to test out all the skills that I had acquired in my liberal arts studies at Dartmouth... and I'm glad to report that they work!
After graduation, I entered the two-year Technical Leadership Program in Design at GE Medical Systems. In addition to developing my engineering skills while working on design projects in X-ray, CT and MR, I have had the opportunity to be trained in Business Methods, Negotiation Skills, Business Productivity, Business Leadership and Business Development.
The design of State-of-the-Art Computed Tomography (CT) imaging technologies.
My work is in Engineering Design.
The most important impact of my college career is that I have maintained a healthy amount of confidence in my ability to continue to be successful at "taking the road less traveled."
I work on products that have direct positive impact on the healthcare of people world-wide.
I do not have as much freedom as I would have in a pure research setting.
In the words of Dr. Seuss,"Great Places"!
Making sure people get adequate healthcare everywhere in the world.
I have been able to work with the amount of flexibility I get on the job.
Interesting story... GE Medical was at the top of my list of companies to work for. One day I found out that a lady from GE Plastics was going to be on campus interviewing students for a scholarship (I found this out because someone on the staff knew I wanted to work for the company). I waited outside the office where the interviews were taking place and until the door opened. With resume in hand, I practically squeezed my shoulder in the doorway and asked for a few minutes of the interviewer's time. I introduced myself to Libby, told her that I REALLY wanted to work for GE Medical and asked if she would be kind enough to pass on my resume. She did just that, and I got a job with the company at the top of my list!
I think I would have worked for a year or two between undergrad and grad school.
Complete as many internships as you can, talk to your professors about your career aspirations, find alumni in fields that interest you (what they have to say may help steer you to a great career or away from a bad one), explore other subject areas (they can be enlightening), create goals that will keep you focused, exercise regularly (if possible), try your best to eat well, and make sure you have fun at whatever you do!
Last Updated: 10/20/10