“Start early, pick your friends wisely, [and] identify mentors.”
Chris Perez is a fourth year graduate student in the NanoHeat Lab (PI Kenneth Goodson) in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University. Chris started his engineering journey many years ago, helping his dad fix things around the house, and when he realized he might want to pursue something like this as a career, he went to community college to take some classes to become an auto technician. While there, his professors saw all sorts of promise in him and encouraged him to go to UCLA for his bachelor’s degree. Chris excelled at UCLA as well, and was encouraged by his undergraduate research PI to pursue graduate school. Chris eventually made his way to Stanford, where he now studies nanoscale heat transfer. In this episode, we talk about the importance of community, the value of good mentorship, and how it’s super necessary to have some good self care practices in place as a PhD student.