Alissa Tully

alissa tullyBS mechanical engineering '08

Occupation: Project manager Enterprise Accounts, Syndication Specialist with ThomasNet
Residence: New York, NY

Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I originally became interested in the University of Rochester when I received the Bausch and Lomb Math and Science Award while in high school. I chose the UR because it is a great school with an excellent reputation.

When and how did you choose your major?

I chose my major after I was already at the University of Rochester. I originally thought I wanted to be an architect. UR doesn't have an architecture program, so I was advised to take some engineering and art history classes and see how I liked them. After taking a few mechanical engineering classes and having the opportunity to work for an architect (with the Art New York program) I realized that engineering was the best fit for me.

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

I was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma and ASME. I was also a part of Tau Beta Pi and Order of the Omega honor societies. I learned a lot from all of the groups I was a part of, but being the president of my sorority taught me the most. I learned crucial skills such as organization, delegation, how to work with large groups, multitasking and communication. I use these skills every day as a project manager.

What do you do now and why did you choose this career?

I manage the creation of advanced web solutions (websites, online catalogs, e-commerce tools, CAD, etc.) for industrial and manufacturing companies. I chose this career because I am able to utilize both my engineering knowledge and the skills I learned from my extracurricular activities. I get to work directly with clients and I have complete ownership of the projects I work on. No two accounts are the same and every day is a new challenge.

How do you balance your work and personal life?

I try to stay very active. I go to the gym most days of the week – it helps to relieve stress and get me moving after sitting at my desk all day. I also enjoy meeting my friends and family out in the city to explore all of the restaurants and sights the city has to offer.

What advice do you have for current students?

Two important things I have learned since graduation:

Networking is key! Social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are used regularly by people in my industry. They are not only tools for your personal social network.

Jump on opportunities as they present themselves. You control your own career path so you should go after what you want.