December 11, 2018 / Gouhar Nayeem

#IAMIH Student Spotlight: Brenna Hogan

The #IAMIH series seeks to highlight the individuals who are the backbone of AIHA and the industrial hygiene profession. It goes without saying that the future of the industry depends on its students and early career professionals. AIHA recognizes the importance of investing in them and providing the opportunities they need to succeed and further promote the profession.

We reached out to AIHA student member Brenna Hogan to gain the perspective of a student in the process of becoming an industrial hygienist. Brenna is currently pursuing her MPH in industrial hygiene at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She was an Arthur J. Abrams and American Industrial Hygiene Foundation scholarship recipient in 2017 and an AIHF and Real-Time Detection Systems scholarship recipient in 2018. She plans to obtain her CIH and CSP certifications after graduating to further her professional development.

How did you hear about AIHA?

An AIHA senior professional member informed me of the wide range of opportunities AIHA offers, which helped me begin making connections and start benefitting from student membership right away. For example, applying and receiving the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation scholarships allowed me to focus on my studies and get involved in further leadership opportunities, such as [UAB’s] student section of AIHA.

How has your experience been so far as a student AIHA member?

My experience being an AIHA student member is a reflection of the resources that have benefited me since being introduced to AIHA. The scholarships offered by AIHF have continually aided my ability to further my industrial hygiene education at the graduate level. The local and national conferences offered to students at low or no cost have allowed me to keep informed about current topics and changes related to the field of industrial hygiene. The relationship between our local and student AIHA sections has also provided me with numerous networking opportunities, which contributed to me obtaining a summer internship.

One of the most influential parts of being a student member has been the mentorship from senior industrial hygienists. They have given me advice, knowledge, tips, and anecdotes of experience that I would otherwise have never received from coursework alone.

What is the biggest benefit of membership?

The most significant benefit of AIHA membership is the ongoing, growing connections with other members, especially through Catalyst. Connections lead to opportunities that are unique to industrial hygienists in AIHA. Attending conferences and networking events are also great ways to connect with colleagues and industry experts. Networking allows you to continue to learn from others and increase your personal and professional opportunities.

What advice do you have for other young professionals for why they should join or stay with AIHA?

Having membership in AIHA smooths the transition between stages in your career. You can benefit the most during this time because of the opportunities to network (in places like the Catalyst and conferences), become or have a mentor, and find a job using the tools and resources of CareerAdvantage. The connections you can develop through membership are a great way to diversify your perspective on projects or research and have up-to-date information on changing regulations and findings in the profession.

What is the best way to utilize membership with AIHA?

The best way to utilize membership with AIHA is to take advantage of every resource offered. Whenever there is a conference or networking event, make every effort to attend and be engaged. If you can mentor or be mentored, accept the opportunity. There are countless indirect benefits from engaging in every experience of being an AIHA member. Getting involved in everything possible is valuable for both yourself and the AIHA community.

Gouhar Nayeem

Gouhar Nayeem is AIHA’s membership marketing specialist.

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