About the Alumni
About the Alumni
by Pradeep Attaluri
Don’t be shy! College can be a huge change from high school and that can put a lot of stress on you. The best remedy for stress is good friendships that you know will be there for you in tough times. That’s why it’s so important to go out of your comfort zone and make friends early on in school. Go join extra curriculars, talk to your neighbors, talk to your classmates. These will be lifelong friends who you will laugh with forever!
Don’t procrastinate! Life is so much easier if you have a checklist for all of your classes everyday - and crossing them off on a daily basis is so helpful. You won’t ever have to deal with the stress of the test the night before!
About the Alumni
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in Lubbock and seen some familiar Terry faces, but I hope that the semester is treating you all well and the wind is being kinder than I remember. To my fellow alumni, I hope that this post finds you healthy and happy… I miss you guys!
Anyway, just a little bit about myself - I grew up in Waco but left the land of Baylor and Fixer Upper to make Lubbock my home for a short four years. Thanks to the Terry Foundation, my time spent in West Texas not only challenged and grew me as a person but gave me some of the best friends and memories I could have ever wished for. I graduated in 2016 with my biology degree and started PA school at UT Southwestern a few days after. It’s been a crazy journey thus far and I still have a lot of learning left to do, but hopefully I can offer some virtual words of wisdom and encouragement.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far is this – your worth is in so much more than making the grade or getting the job. Following the legacy of Mr. and Mrs. Terry, the Terry scholars tend to be an incredibly driven and high achieving group and I am SURE that that holds true for each and every one of you. You work hard day in and day out to make the grades, keep up the extracurriculars, and make the right connections that set you up for success and your dream career even if it means piling on the stress and pulling a few all-nighters. That being said, it is so easy to get caught up in everything that you could be doing better. To this day, I still catch myself looking at my to-do list and thinking that I could be doing more – more reading, more studying, more phone calls, more meetings. There may be days where you feel defeated – maybe your grade didn’t come out how you anticipated, or you feel down because you missed Mother’s Day at home this year. You are more than your grades and what you have listed on your résumé. When you find yourself thinking less about what you have to offer and more about where you fall short, remember that even beyond your family, there was a group of strangers in a board room that looked you in the eye and saw your true worth… your dedication, drive, perseverance, compassion, and desire to give back.
As you go forward into this year, I hope that you find success in all of your endeavors, but more than that, I hope you remember how much your Terry family cares for you… alumni included. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about anything at all or even if you just feel like saying hey!
I hope your 2018 is off to a great start and you are filled with excitement for the year ahead! I am a 2012 Terry Scholar from Cross Plains, Texas. I graduated high school and left my tiny hometown to move to Lubbock for my adventures as a Red Raider. My time at Texas Tech was possible because of the Terry Foundation, and I have made countless Terry friendships that will last me a lifetime. Because of the foundation I was able to study abroad in Paris and Italy, and participate in so many organizations at Texas Tech. One of my favorite experiences as a Terry was serving on the interview panel during my senior year. Learning about the process of scholar selection helped me to understand to a greater extent the impact that Mr. Terry has had on so many young lives. I am currently a second year medical student at TTUHSC. I am part of the FMAT program, so I will finish my last year of medical school in 2019 and begin my family medicine residency here in Lubbock- I guess you could say West Texas has grown on me!
I decided to tackle the new year with a new word (cheesy... I know!) This year my word is TENACIOUS. When considering on how this word can get me through the year I found that the word tenacious and Terry scholars have a lot in common, and I hope maybe you can use some of these qualities to tackle your goals for 2018!
1. Tenacious can mean persistent. For me, persistence is especially important during this season of my life. As I prepare to take my first board exam this June, I know that I am going to have to persevere through many months of preparation.... bring on the caffeine!
2. Tenacious can also mean patient- I often find myself feeling like I know nothing after a long day in clinic. I am reminded that success as a physician takes time and numerous years of experience. Nothing is easy at the start!
3. Lastly, tenacious can mean unshakable- this is going to be a tough one for me! Fearing failure has haunted me for as long as I can remember, and sometimes I let failure really "shake me up". I try to remind myself that failure is inevitable, it is a stepping stone. Success is born from failure. I hope that this year I can remain strong despite the failures I encounter along the way.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about life in med school, life in Lubbock, or just life in general (still trying to figure it all out)! Terry on and wreck 'em!!
For those of you still in school, congrats on nearly finishing this Fall semester and best of luck on your upcoming finals! And for the alumni reading this, I hope all is well in whatever post-academic endeavors you are pursuing and look forward to hopefully catching up with you soon!
Just a little bit about myself for those of you who don’t know me: I’m Andi Hess, a 2012 Tech Terry from Muenster, TX. I graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition, studied abroad in the Seville, Spain in Spring 2015, and am currently a second-year medical student at TTUHSC (Wreck ‘em Round 2). I have been extremely blessed during my time at Texas Tech, making it possible for me to be where I am today. The advice I hope to share with you all is some that I’ve learned over the past six years from incredible mentors, wise professors, supportive friends and family members, and oftentimes, from the you-live-and-you-learn moments. And while my previous experiences are mainly focused in medicine, I hope this information is valuable and applicable to all of you, whether it be geared toward your success in school, your transition into adulthood, or just advice to carry through life to be as happy and prosperous as possible.
1) There is always the opportunity to learn in everything you do. For a long time, I thought going to school was the only place I went to “learn” anything – statistics, biology, world geography, you name it. But then I met someone who used every opportunity to learn something new, and I realized I had been missing out on tons of experiences right before my eyes. Whether it’s reading a newspaper article or fiction book or gossip column, carrying on a quick conversation with a Market Street cashier, or observing an interaction between others close by, there is something to gain from any experience that will leave you wiser or more knowledgeable.
For example, because I’m in medical school and because I have a ridiculous love for Grey’s Anatomy (I know, I know), I look up diseases or symptoms they mention in the show that I’d like to learn more about. While it has nothing to do with the dramatic (and often inaccurate) scenes on the TV, it leaves me with newfound knowledge that may one day come in handy on a test or in my practice. I like to find 3 instances per day where I can practice learning more from seemingly casual interactions like this. Try it for yourself, and by the end of the week you will have learned 21 new things!
2) Leave others better than you found them. Just a general rule of thumb, pretty similar to the Golden Rule they taught us as toddlers – treat others as you would like to be treated. Depending on the situation, “better” could mean healthier, happier, more knowledgeable, relieved or relaxed, etc. And by “leave others” I don’t mean walk out of their lives forever, but leave every interaction with this mentality. Even just smiling while walking past a sad stranger could brighten his or her day.
I like to use this one while networking. I’m pretty sure networking isn’t supposed to be a one-way road where one gains something without also giving something. And while your contribution may not be as significant while you’re still working your way up through school or a new job and gaining mentors, finding employers, and/or creating opportunities for yourself, you can go into every networking opportunity with a positive attitude, thoughtful insight, impressive work ethic, and unique experiences that makes the person on the other end walk away glad to have met you, interacted with you, mentored/employed you, etc. And one day when you are the mentor or employer, you will be able to make those bigger, life-changing contributions for others.
3) People may be smarter or more naturally gifted than you, but no one has to work harder than you. This is something my parents taught me from a young age that a fellow 2012 Tech Terry so appropriately put into words. I used to get so frustrated in college when I would study for hours and hours and do as well as someone I knew spent less time or effort studying, or when I worked so hard toward something that I felt was just handed to someone else. But I was way better off when I finally accepted that sometimes life is unfair. There will always be people who don’t have to study as much, or work as hard, or get credit when credit isn’t due. Instead of getting frustrated or wanting to take shortcuts because you feel gypped, direct that energy into motivation to work harder and be better, and I promise that in the end, it will pay off. Employers, at least good ones, will always prefer a hard worker to a naturally gifted individual because when the going gets tough, the tough get going – and that’s you, my friends.
4) Write down 10 things that bring you pure and total joy and incorporate 3 of those things into each day. As mentioned above, there will be times when the going gets tough, but use these things that bring you happiness to power through. Some of my favorite things include Facetiming my niece and nephew, talking to my parents on the phone, spending time with my siblings, going hiking at Palo Duro Canyon, getting together with friends, helping out in the OR, and cracking jokes with the little kiddos in the hospital (because they’re the only ones who think my jokes are funny). What are some of yours?
5) Never forget where you came from or who helped you get there. Probably my biggest takeaway from this post. When you finally get where you’re going, I hope you can look back and remember all the people who helped make it possible – your family, friends, significant other, teammates, coaches, classmates, colleagues, and undoubtedly the Terry Foundation. Lean on these people for support, get their advice, learn from their experiences, thank them for their support, never take them for granted, and always give back to them when you can.
Safe travels and Happy Holidays, yall! Terry love,
P.S. My whole goal of this blog post was to give advice to pre-medical students, but I got carried away. So, if you have any pre-med, medical school, or medicine-related questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Alumni Blog: Adulting 101
Has it really been two years?! For you fresher Tech Terry faces out there, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Rachel Murdy, 2012 TTU Terry, former Technical Communications student, current Southwest Airlines employee living in Dallas. I graduated December 2015, but you may have seen me around since I’ve been known to jet-set to Lubbock for Terry events.
Since the Terry program is fairly new out in Raiderland, I thought I'd share with you a bit of what it's like in that enigmatic world post-graduation.
I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have walked out of the USA two years ago with not only a diploma, but also a job. I work for Southwest in the department that creates and manages manuals. I started my time here as an intern, and quickly felt at home. Here at Southwest, we operate based on three core values: a Warrior’s Spirit, Servant’s Heart, and Fun-LUVing Attitude. I think these correlate nicely with the Terry values of service, leadership, and community. If a company was to be made entirely of Terry Scholars, it would look a lot like Southwest Airlines.
Anyway, that brings me to my first two pieces of advice for you, which really apply more to you guys still in college:
1) Start moving toward your career early. You have been given an incredible gift by the Terry Foundation: time that you don’t have to spend working to pay for college. Use it to build your resume with activities, hobbies, student organizations, and skills that set you apart from the other job candidates.
My junior year of college, I made the decision to work on top of my studies—not because I needed the money (which went primarily to building a professional wardrobe) but because I wanted the work experience. I worked for Texas Tech University Press for three semesters, and learned skills I couldn’t have developed in the classroom. From there, I was competitive for the Southwest internship, and that opportunity led to my full-time employment.
2) Know what you are looking for in a job. I am extremely spoiled by my employer. We value employees first, and that is reflected in the core values I mentioned earlier. We have great benefits, including standby travel privileges which allow me to swing by Lubbock to see you fine folks. Another great thing about my role is that it awards me great work-life balance. This quality is not always advertised on a job posting, so it may take some asking around to figure out if the employer will work you long hours or honor a set schedule. Although I had it easy, it’s important to know what you are and are not willing to compromise. Make sure you are looking at the whole picture, beyond salary, and ask intelligent questions in an interview.
So you’ve landed a job, what now? You know that work-life balance I mentioned above? Turns out that was a little overwhelming to me at first. I went from having an overcrowded planner to having nothing to do after work. I won’t lie to y’all—at first I watched a TON of Netflix, and basically caught up after years of sleep deprivation. Although I remain well-rested, I’ve learned to be wiser with my free time.
Here are some of the things I recommend to keep from going insane while adulting:
3) Find a new community. Some of you might have this easier if you move back home or stay in the Lubbock area after graduation. But I moved to a new city knowing very few people, and no one tells you how hard it can be to meet people after college. So my advice to you is get involved in something—sports, church, the arts—something that can help you make new connections. I’m fortunate to have also met many friends through work, but you can’t count on working with people around your same age.
4) Stay in touch with family and friends. I’m almost cheating here, but remember those free flights I mentioned? I was gone one out of every three weekends my first year on the job, and most of that was to see family and friends who lived elsewhere. Another third of those weekends, someone came to see me. There’s something so exciting about seeing old friends taking on new adventures, so don’t forget to call every once and a while, and go visit when you can!
5) Develop a hobby. Before I switched to Technical Communications, I was a Creative Writing major. In college, I was so busy with assignments I never took time to write creatively for myself. Now I keep a travel blog and have a couple other writing projects underway. Even if they never see the light of day, these help me retain my sanity and express myself creativity. I also read for pleasure way more than I could in college, and I explore new cities when the flights allow. Whatever it is for you, find something you are passionate about that you didn’t have time for before, and go for it!
6) Create healthy habits. So sleeping a decent amount is clearly important to me, but I’ve also taken steps to stay active. The perimeter of my office building is a half-mile, and I try to take a couple laps a day as my workload allows, and supplement with other activities as needed. I’ve also learned to cook for myself, done an elimination diet to identify any agitators to my allergy-prone self, and am now feeling better than I have in years. So while you have time, make sure you are setting yourself up for healthy living.
7) Don’t neglect your leadership abilities. We are all Terry Scholars for a reason. Find an outlet to give back where you are, and don’t plateau while you are working your way up in the workforce. Last year, I mentored a college student I met in Dallas. This year, I’ve started leading a home group through my church. No matter what it is, continue helping people and developing your leadership skills.
8) Don’t forget that the Terry Foundation made it possible. Another way to give back is by serving on interview panels, attending events, and being available to students. We all made a promise to give back when selected as Scholars, so don’t forget you will always have a Terry Family!
Wreck ‘em and Terry love,
My name is Dustn Perez, and I graduated from Texas Tech University, Dec. 2015, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to attending TTU, I spent four years enlisted in United States Marine Corp as a Civil Affairs Noncommissioned Officer. After the Marine Corp, I started school at Palomar College, located in San Marcos, CA. After a year I transferred to South Plains College, and another year later I transferred again to TTU. I’ll be starting grad school at West Texas A&M University this fall to continue my studies in mechanical engineering.
Earning the Terry Scholarship was an important event in my life. It came at a time when I was doubting my intelligence, questioning if I was smart enough to do well at TTU. The Terry Foundation restored my confidence in myself through their resounding, unquestioning belief in their scholars. From that point forward I truly believed that I could actually finish my studies, and just maybe, one day, become a real life engineer. It’s hard to express how appreciative, thankful I am of the Terry Foundation.
Currently, I’m a tool design engineer at CNS Pantex, located in Amarillo, TX. I can honestly say that I enjoy the work that I do. No design or analysis that I have worked on has been the same, so I don’t lose interest. I hope you all can find careers that can make work feel a lot less like actual work.
The best piece of information that I have to offer is, simply put, to hold on to the knowledge that you gain while in school. There were many individuals that told me I wouldn’t use what I learned in school, and the real training begins on the job. While there is truth in that statement, I can say that I use what I learned at TTU every day at work. Of course, I don’t use everything, and some areas of study I haven’t touched since school. The question to answer is: where will you end up after graduation? Most don’t have an answer for this question, so it’s best to be prepared for all areas. I’m sure you all work hard, but I just want to stress the importance of retaining the knowledge you’ve worked for. You won’t regret it.
Also, don’t sell back the textbooks that pertain to your degree plan. I have a whole shelf full of engineering books in my office that I find myself often referencing.
Good luck in your future endeavors,