The Graduate School has launched another new series called "Meet Your Student Leaders." This series will provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows an opportunity to get to know the students who run the various graduate student organizations.

andrew curry fullQ: What is your name, age and program of study?

A: "Andy Curry, 26, and I’m a doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering."

Q: What is your role within the organization?

A: "Head of Professional Development and Leadership for the Graduate Student Government (GSG)."

Q: What responsibilities does that role entail?

A: "I communicate with different graduate student groups to assist with funding for events that promote the professional development and leadership training for the graduate student body."

Q: How much time do you dedicate to the organization?

A: "It depends on how many events I am working on with other groups. For GSG, we have two hours of meeting each month, one for the Executive Committee and one for the Senate. Attending meetings with other student groups can also vary, but I generally try to make at least 1-2 meetings per month, which usually last an hour. Correspondence with other groups does not take long."

Q: How are you benefitting from this leadership position? How will it help you achieve your future career goals? What are you learning from this role?

A: "I am in a position that allows and encourages me to meet with the other student organizations that I may not have even been aware of. Collaborating with many different groups is helping me to network well outside of my own discipline, as well as helping me to learn more about how to help people and groups with different goals."

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in student organizations?

A: "Student organizations are a great way for students to meet their peers and to combine their efforts to meet mutual goals."

Q: Why should graduate students get involved in leadership positions within those student organizations?

A: "Leadership positions offer more opportunities for the students to do more in the organization, whether that be more say in how/which events are held or the general direction that organization is taking. They also generally let the student learn more about the internal working of the organization, which can lead to a lot of networking opportunities."

Q: How do you balance being a graduate student with the responsibilities that come from this leadership position?

A: "Some of the responsibilities go hand-in-hand, such as the networking opportunities. GSG is very much tailored for busy graduate students, so any interference with lab work and such is actually fairly minimal."

Q: What else do you do?

A: "I am also a member of the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Student Society (BMEGS) and play in the Birmingham Concert Community Band."