Everything a College Should Be: Video Transcript

Jim Heinen (Miami, 2003) [Associate in Armstrong Teasdale's Intellectual Property]: When I first visited campus I absolutely fell in love with the brick buildings, it just seemed like everything a college should be, there were undergrads walking all over the place having a good time it looked like everything I envisioned college to be.

I chose chemistry because I enjoyed it when I was in high school. I didn't have a particular idea that that was all I wanted to do, however I came to Miami with the idea that I could always try chemistry. If I didn't like it it might be easier to then transition to a different major, but it seemed like it might be an easier transition to make if I wanted to start out with chemistry and didn't like it to go to something else.

What kept me in chemistry was just the exciting, everyday cutting-edge technology — things that you would see not only in laboratories, but the math that was involved with it was intriguing to me as well and it was something that was challenging which is what I looked forward to in college.

The advice I would give to someone who is coming to Miami is that you will not be disappointed. I'm sure there are many great colleges around the country but everything at Miami that you've heard about, it lives up to its reputation. It's a great place to meet people. There are people from all walks of the country here, there are people from a lot of good feeder schools — St. Louis, which is where I'm from, a lot from Chicago, a lot from Ohio, a lot from all over the country as well.

Chemistry majors should do what they want to do, is the advice that I would give to them. My pathway led me away from the lab but there are a lot of interesting and neat things that go on in the lab. I work with inventors on a daily basis who are scientists with chemistry degrees, that are the ones giving me these really neat inventions, with cutting-edge technology and so there are a lot of fun things happening there, but, on the other hand, if that's not for you I would recommend at least looking into a patent law career because it's been something that I've enjoyed thoroughly.

I think it's important for alumni to engage with students for a number of reasons, the least of which is not anywhere it's difficult to get a job right now and it's always nice to have a contact in any city where you might end up, I'm sure there will be Miami graduates there.

My wife and I are the co-presidents of the Alumni Chapter in St. Louis and so we try to stay in touch with anyone in the St. Louis area who's just gotten out of Miami or going to be going to Miami or in Miami and let them know that there's a huge Miami contingent in St. Louis, and you don’t have to stay around the Oxford area, or Cincinnati-Cleveland area, even though they're nice areas to be in, there are Miami people all across the country, so it's important for alumni to let them know that and to be a nice contact for them and to kind of pick their brain about 'How did you get to where you are?' It's just always kind of helpful to hear that someone who was at once themselves struggling to find a job has found one and to meet someone who is going to become successful.

[November 2012]