Get Experiences That Put You on Your Path: Video Transcript

Howard Hershey (Miami, 1974) [Research Director for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.]: My experience at Miami that really helped me more than anything else in deciding a career path was the opportunity in undergraduate education — it was really an interesting experience. I had the opportunity to go to work in a lab and it happened to be with an outstanding individual — it was Charlie Griffin — who kind of, you know, brought me in there as a young kid, not quite knowing what to do and kind of made a connection between chemistry and biology and the relevance of what we can do to the real world and that was probably the single experience within Miami that kind of shaped me in terms of who I am today.

I've always had an interest in chemistry. I was one of those kids who used to play with stuff and mix things in the basement. Really came here undecided whether to follow that through chemical education or move toward the kind of BA into pre-med. And that was easily resolvable within about a year or so of my being here, I really was able to make a choice to go toward the more chemical than the medical side of education. I really enjoyed it. I guess I've always been one of those people that likes mixing things up and see what happens.

In terms of a choice between going the route of premed or toward medical or toward a more chemical education, probably had more to do with meeting people here who were leaning in one direction or another and finding shared interests in long term goals about what I'm trying to achieve in my life and it turned out not to be associated with people going toward the medical side but going toward the research and basic chemistry side.

If I were to give advice to anyone about choosing a college, make sure it's lined up with either your interests or your passions, or it's going to give you the opportunity to get the experiences to make the decisions you're going to have to make. In the end, no one is going to find you a job; no one is going to create a career for you. You're going to have to get those experiences somewhere that's going to put you on the path that you're ultimately going to be on, and I think you get those experiences here.

[October 2012]