View in your browser.
BEST May 2019 Newsletter
Cassi Wattenburger, Editor  

From the Editor

Best of luck finishing off the semester!

If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let us know.

In this issue...

Spotlight Preview: Éilís Monahan

Éilís is a PhD student in Archaeaology researching how warfare and fortresses affected social relations in ancient civilizations. She loves the outdoors and fantasy shows (but please don't spoil her on Game of Thrones!)

Read on to learn more about Éilís and her experiences in career exploration.


News and Events

BESTie selected for Early Career Scientist Leadership Program 
(go to)
Vandana Raghavan was selected for the Early Career Scientist Leadership Program 2019 cohort in the Genetics Society of America. Read this spotlight on her great accomplishment!

Two BESTies featured in eShip Magazine (go to)
Rick Wang and Madhur Srivastava (left and right respectively) were featured in Entrepeneurship at Cornell's annual magazine. The publication features Madhur's and Rick's work to improve MRI.  Read more on the latest edition of eShip, pg. 37.

Cornell student chosen for 30 Under 30 "Green Generation" (go to)
BESTie Xiangkun Elvis Cao (left) was chosen by the American Conservation Coalition as part of the 30 Under 30 The Green Generation. Ziangkun's thesis work on "HI-Light" will allow us to turn CO2 into syngas or methanol using artificial photosynthesis. Congratulations!
Resource Highlight: UIDP (go to)
If you have a Cornell ID, you can take advantage of resources from University Industry Demonstration Partnership through Cornell's institutional membership. Contact Susi Varvayanis ( to learn more.
Apply: Integrated land management workshop and internship program (go to)
Cornell’s initiative in Integrated Land Management is offering a week long workshop and an internship program to help Cornell graduate students build skills relevant to land management that address contemporary issues about land, gender, work, and development. If interested, click here to read more about the workshop and internships and for eligibility information and application instructions. The deadline to apply is May 27th. Email Andrew Ofstehage ( with any questions.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities (go to list)

From the Blog

Research to Regulation: The Career Journey of Alumna Rajni Singh
By Janani Hariharan

"One of the major advantages of a government career off the bench is the work-life balance, as there are no experimental time points and team members recognize that people have lives outside of work."


Member Spotlight:

Éilís Monahan
Éilís is a PhD student in Archeology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, and is affiliated with the Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies. Above left is an image of Éilís visiting the ruins of the Iron Age palace at Vouni.

What topic is your PhD work focused on?
I study the development of sociopolitical complexity, and my research is focused on Cyprus during the Bronze Age. My dissertation explores the role that warfare and specifically fortresses, as the first monumental architecture on Cyprus and as components of a disciplinary apparatus, play in transforming social relations creating a situation where some people are able to seize power and access to resources.

What made you interested in exploring careers outside of academia?
I love my field, and I’m sure I’ll always stayed involved in it in some way, but I realized during the year I spent abroad completing the fieldwork for my dissertation that what I most enjoyed about archaeology was working collaboratively on teams and the excitement of discovery and engaged problem solving. Knowing that academic employment posts for archaeologists are few and far between and not being certain that I would find them personally satisfying, I wanted to see what other opportunities were out there that would be intellectually challenging and would allow me to see my work have real impact.

What BEST activities have you been most involved in and what value did you get from them?
My involvement with BEST has primarily been through my role as the (re)founder and co-president of the Cornell Graduate Consulting Club. When I decided that strategy and management consulting was an area I wanted to explore more in depth, I learned that the graduate consulting club on campus was no longer operating. Suzi Varvayanis and BEST were really instrumental in the relaunch of the club, and BEST has been a great resource, helping us reach out to other graduate students who might be interested in consulting careers and supporting our event planning. 

What are your current career goals? Any plans for what's next now that you're graduating?
I want to pursue a career in strategy consulting - I love that many of the firms let you start as a generalist so you can gain experience with different industries and different aspects of business, and the opportunities to travel and work with other passionate people on interesting problems is just what I’m looking for. Other than applying for jobs and preparing for interviews, I have a couple papers I want to submit for publication, and I’m planning an extended backpacking trip in the Sierras with my husband. Finishing my dissertation has kept me from thinking much beyond that yet! 

What do you like to do in your free time to relax?
I absolutely love being outdoors – hiking, camping, or being out on the water! But when the weather isn’t great, I also love playing tabletop games with friends or watching the latest great sci-fi/fantasy tv shows. If you see me, please don’t spoil the Battle of Winterfell – I’m a full season behind on Game of Thrones!
Do you have a question about the BEST program or career exploration? Ask us for help!


Copyright © Cornell University BEST program. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
325 Caldwell Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Please contact Azucena Ortega ( if you'd like to stop receiving these emails.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
CU BEST Program · 325 Caldwell Hall · Cornell University · Ithaca, NY 14853 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp