Brenda McMahon ‘09, ‘11 has a unique position working at the University of Pittsburgh as a manager and sonographer.  Her furry, four-legged patients might look a little different than other ultrasonography professionals since she works in the Small Animal Ultrasonography Core.

Her tasks vary just as much as her patients, making every day an exciting experience. 

“Some days I am performing analysis, where I go through all the images for a study that I have taken and complete the measurements needed,” said Brenda. “Other days, I am doing paperwork for billing, ordering supplies, and compiling information for meetings and or grants. The most interesting days are the days when I am doing ultrasounds on mice or rats. I perform echo imaging, vascular imaging, sciatic nerve imaging and much more.” 

Her favorite part of the job is working with investigators to help them understand the results of their ultrasound research.

Brenda felt supported by her professors at Mount Aloysius College, allowing her to be where she is today. “The instructors at the Mount were very supportive in making sure the students succeeded. I had instructors that would take extra time to meet with me after class, to provide advice or to review my imaging. They helped make sure my images were optimal and if they were not they gave positive criticism.”

She can also use her experiences to help future Ultrasonography students. “I would say be flexible and willing to make sure you have different options for your career path.  When you graduate, you may not be able to land the job you had hoped for, but all experience is needed to get to where you foresee yourself in the future. My job is not something I had ever thought I would be doing.  However, after many years of clinical work, I was able to apply for a job that is completely different and is a job I plan to stay at until retirement.”