"Supplement your education with opportunities, like classes, clubs, or internships, outside your bubble. These are the experiences that make you different from everyone else and contribute to your growth as a human being."
Hear Sneha give advice for choosing a major and how to go about the process!
9th Annual UCSD Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Summer Internship Program 2019
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
I pursued pre-med in high school because biology was my favorite subject and I loved learning about the cardiovascular system. I shadowed doctors in pediatrics, orthopedics, and dermatology. I also volunteered in the hospital and took many extra health-related classes at COC.
I was accepted as a Human Biology major at UCSD. However, after reflecting on all my experiences, I realized that the pre-med track was not for me, and switched to Biology with specialization in Bioinformatics major before freshman year even started. I had not a clue what Bioinformatics was.
I joined a biology research lab, where I had amazing mentorship for my first experience, sparking my curiosity in research. Within a couple of months, I realized that I did not like wet-lab that much because it was slow and I never wanted to work with animals.
Looking for something more technical, I participated in the Biomedical Informatics summer program, where I worked at a public health lab at UCSD. Public health was beyond my expertise, but I learned data analysis skills and gained a diverse perspective in soft sciences, persuading me to declare a design minor.
Declaring a design minor was the best academic decision I made. I worked on projects like creating a web application from scratch and working with a non-profit organization to solve a design challenge and improve the community. I loved how my creative and analytical side was being used and loved every aspect of UX design.
Meanwhile I was taking a lot of computer science classes and liked how my logical thinking was improving, but computer science itself was too painful and not for me. Yet, I declared a computer science minor because the skills are a competitive bonus in the industry.
I realized I still did not have practical experience in my major, Bioinformatics, so I joined a research lab where I did both bioinformatics and wet lab research. I liked the mix of hands-on activities and computer work.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Secretary of Associated Student Body
Volunteered around Santa Clarita
Volunteered at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and Olive View Medical Center
Shadowed multiple doctors
Project 691 Robotics
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Secretary of Undergraduate Bioinformatics Club
Research intern at The Scripps Research Institute doing cancer research
Participated in the Biomedical Informatics Internship at
UCSD, interning at a UCSD Department of Family Medicine and Public Health lab
Research Assistant at the Sanford Consortium of Regenerative Medicine doing cancer research.
Global Ties Program - Design for Development
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Currently, I’m in my last year of undergrad and hope to learn as many diverse skills as I can in Design, Computer Science, and Bioinformatics. I still work at Sanford Consortium of Regenerative Medicine, researching FZD7, a gene important in development, in cancer cells. A graduate degree is definitely something on my mind and a future goal, once I narrow down my interests. I’m considering a career in tech as a product designer or UX designer as well. Every experience has been vastly different from the last, but have taught me something about myself in the process. It’s a long and convoluted road with endless possibilities, but ultimately, I hope to find a career where I can utilize all my skills and make a positive impact on the world.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Start freshman year right by becoming involved in clubs, school events, and more. Every person you meet in college is different and can teach you something new. Networking is everything.
Advice #2: Supplement your education with opportunities, like classes, clubs, or internships, outside your bubble. These are the experiences that make you different from everyone else and contribute to your growth as a human being.
Advice #3: There are endless opportunities. Try everything. Start early and start often.