• PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University
  • Advice columnist for GradHacker, part of Inside Higher Ed
  • Proposes setting a theme instead of resolutions
  • Favorite podcast: The Story Collider


Megan Poorman is a Texas A&M graduate and a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science in Nashville, TN.  She specializes in minimally-invasive surgery and develops novel medical imaging guidance tools to improve treatment of disease.

Megan is also a science communication advice columnist for GradHacker, part of the Inside Higher Ed group of publications.  She believes that a lot can be gained from collaboration, which is why science communication is important to breaking down barriers.

In Episode 26, Ike talked about starting the year setting goals and why you need to make them as specific as possible. In response, Ike received a note from Megan about her alternative viewpoint.

Megan suggests setting a theme for the New Year, rather than making resolutions.  By setting a theme or mantra, it removes the daily pressure of measuring yourself and encourages self-awareness to guide you throughout the year.

Show Notes

  • What led Megan to peruse biomedical engineering [2:20]
  • Megan’s side hustle as a columnist contributes to her goals [5:00]
  • The concept of setting broad themes vs goals [8:25]
  • Making progress while using a broad theme [12:15]
  • Tracking your goals with SMART concept is good for structure but can be exhausting over time [12:40]
  • How Megan accomplished her theme from last year [17:00]
  • A side business can help students dealing with financial debt [22:11]


  • Collaboration is important to breaking down barriers [5:00]
  • Set a theme to use as a guiding principal throughout the year to reach an end goal [9:25]
  • The best method used for setting goals depends on the person [15:00]
  • A side business can help students develop useful skills for future careers [24:50]

Contacts and Links






Coming Up in the Next Episode of The Side Business Show

Tune in to listen to Mark Podolsky lay out the complete steps to starting your side business dealing in raw, undeveloped land. Be prepared to be blown away by the incredible profits that can quickly take you down the path of financial independence.

Have Questions about the show? Do you need help with your Side Business or just want to bounce off ideas? Please write to us at ike@theSideBusiness.Show.