Have you every stopped and looked at the things around you? I mean really stopped and wondered things like: how was this object made, how does the touch screen on my phone work, or even why are appliances made of stainless steel rather than regular steel? If so, then this blog is for you! This is for anyone who has ever wanted to better understand the world around them and the stories behind the items we take for granted in our modern society.

If the former description doesn’t sound like you, are you instead someone who is navigating the bumpy road that is graduate school and looking for some guidance on the challenges you’re facing? Then I hope to help you too, because graduate school can be a lonely journey at times and I would like to be someone you can turn to for valuable advice. As I approach the completion of my master’s and the start of my PhD, I have started to reflect on what I’ve learned along this arduous journey and the things I wish I would have known on day one (lessons that sure would have saved me a lot of time and stressful days!).

Finally, if you are just someone who feels lost and unsure about your future, or someone who just wants to be their best self, I hope you join me as I explore new ways to develop myself both personally and professionally. The most important realization I’ve come to over the course of my first few years in graduate school is that the only way you are going to be successful and the only way you are going to satisfied with where you are in life is if you define your vision for your life and set goals that are going to get you there. Learning new thing that will help me to become my best self has quickly become a passion of mine that I want to share with as many people as I can!

My name is Christina and I am a current graduate student at the Colorado School of Mines, where I am working towards an M.S. and Ph.D. in metallurgical and materials engineering. When I took my first step into a steel mill on that hot summer day-the first day of my very first undergraduate summer internship-I knew that my future would lie in the world of metallurgy. If you have ever seen how steel is made, then you can understand the state of amazement I was in while I watched molten metal explode during a scrap charge into the electric arc furnace, or while I crossed a bridge over cast strands of solidifying steel where only a thin layer of solid metal was keeping liquid steel from pouring out over the floor of the mill. As a native Pennsylvanian, blue collar work in manufacturing facilities and steel mills is in my blood and I was excited to play a role in one of the industries that built our state. But as I continued through undergrad, I began to realize that the jobs I did as an intern were not the best fit for me; a career in academia better suited my strengths, and progressing in the field of metallurgy by way of graduate school still allowed me to contribute to the steel industry that gave me my start.

With this blog, I hope to share my passion for metallurgy and materials science with those who have ever wondered how the world around them is made, my failures and successes so far on the path to my master’s and Ph.D degrees, and the resources that have helped me to become the best version of myself and that will aid me in a future career in academia. The things I have learned over the past few years have changed my life and my vision for what I want to become, and if my story can help just one person then this blog served its purpose!