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Sneha hopes to combine her Bioinformatics background & design skills to make a positive impact on the world.

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"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!

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Sneha Lakshmanan
Class of 2017


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


  • 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


  • 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.

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