Sarah Provan

sarah provanBS biomedical engineering '05

Occupation: E-learning team lead, Epic
Residence: Madison, WI
Family: Husband Alex Provan (anthropology/psychology '05) and daughter Charlotte

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I was interested in the University of Rochester for the strong engineering department, the location, and the volleyball program. I was sold once I visited campus – walking around the quad looking around I realized that the campus was exactly how I'd dreamed a college campus would be.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

One of my favorite activities was actually my work-study program! I was lucky enough to get to work with the athletic training department as a student assistant. While there were certainly many hours of mindless cleaning, I also had a wonderful opportunity to learn. The mechanics of injury and rehab were fascinating as they lined up with my biomechanics studies.

There was also an incredibly strong sense of community. I got to be part of the team that got the team ready to go, kept them moving, and helped them recover as quickly as possible.

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

The writing lab. I used this quite a bit, and I'm glad I did. Written communication is incredibly important in the business world and new graduates should be aware that nothing crushes credibility faster than a poorly written email.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

Public speaking, hands down. At the beginning of my senior year I was an average public speaker. Through presentations related to my senior design process I was able to improve dramatically, and came out being very strong.  I was able to bring that strength to Epic when I graduated. After starting in a different position, I ended up spending six years leading classroom training for programmers and IT staff before transferring again to my current position.

How do you balance your work and personal life?

This is a huge challenge. People who are just graduating should be aware of just what a big challenge it can be. After UR I knew I wanted to work for a fast-paced company, but I wasn't quite ready for the fact that "homework" doesn't end once you graduate in most fields. My advice would be to figure out what your limit is, and stick to it even if it means that you can't get to everything. If you can be happy and healthy working 80 hours a week then go do it. If you can't, then don't be afraid to say no. My husband and I make sure we are always both home to have dinner with our daughter, and have at least one "work free" night a week.