Community Profile: Monica Jane Albe (April 2022)

Monica Jane Albe (she/her), Graduate Student Services Advisor, Integrative Biology Graduate Program + Endocrinology Graduate GroupHeadshot of a smiling person with long light-colored hair wearing glasses.

What does your program, unit, or division do on campus?

I work in the Biological Sciences Division of the College of Letters & Science where people pursue all kinds of exciting research related to life on earth. The graduate students I work with are all over the map (sometimes literally) – in the classroom, in the lab, and in the field – studying everything from teeny-tiny microbes to giant, ancient sequoias.

Describe your job in five words:

Exhilarating, challenging, inspiring, constantly improving

Why Berkeley?

Berkeley is the place where I discovered myself and my abilities. I love being able to help others do the same.

Over your career, what are some of the things that have helped you move to the next level and to new opportunities?

There are a lot of absolutely incredible people on campus. One of the things that I enjoy most about this job is all the amazing people I get to meet and work with. My friendships and collaborations at Berkeley over the years are the things that have made the impossible possible. When I’m on my own, I can get bogged down – but friends and teamwork are what help me be less afraid of making mistakes so I can be more innovative.

What is the best advice a mentor has given you in work, life, or beyond?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a breath. Take a moment to check in with yourself, remember you’re not alone. 

What motivates you to do your best work?

Helping people that also want to help other people – the kind of work that cascades.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?

Oh gosh, I’ve had a lot of weird jobs! I managed a flesh eating beetle colony for 10 years, I was an intern for the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement where I sifted through piles of dead bugs, and I also worked in the morgue at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital. I think the weirdest one for me was my high school job where I processed all the class scantrons for the California Society of Certified Public Accountants – for three years! (Weird because it was very, very boring.)

What is an interesting or little-known fact about you?

I really enjoyed taking improv classes before the pandemic and I hope to get back to that soon. (BATS Improv in SF is great, in case anyone is curious.)

What are you most looking forward to this year?

Summer, where hopefully things will calm down!