"Explore other interests you might have, even if it doesn’t necessarily have to do with your major. It is refreshing to learn about something different, and you might find something new that you are passionate about.
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
My main struggle early on was being unsure about my major. I changed it MANY times. I took a bunch of classes to see what I was interested in. Towards the end of junior year, I chose biology because it was something I truly enjoyed learning about.
I took ROP/CCR classes in Medical Assisting and Medical Terminology, to help with my understanding on the field.
During my one year at COC I worked in the TLC as a math and science tutor. This helped me constantly refresh and practice concepts that I ended up needing in future courses.
At UCSD, I joined a research lab, where we studied disorders such as Alzheimer’s, autism, depression, etc. I got this position with a lot less struggle than others because of my experience in labs that I gained through COC courses. This sparked my interest in research.
I got an internship at Alzheimer’s San Diego, which I wanted to do to help my understanding of the research I was doing in lab. I provided in-home breaks to caregivers in the form of social visits with their loved one, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
During my senior year at UCSD, I got a job as a behavior interventionist at CalPsychcare where I provide in-home behavioral treatment services to children and young adults impacted by autism and other developmental disabilities. I was able to transfer this job to SCV.
Winter 2020, I graduated from UCSD a quarter early and continued my internship, job, and research remotely.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Joined AMSA at COC
Project Linus- Being a part of PL really helped solidify my desire to serve the community, and taught me a lot about how nonprofits work.
Volunteered at different events (through CIty of Santa Clarita)
National Honors Society
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
TLC Tutor (COC)
Researcher at ZOU Lab UCSD
Intern at Alzheimer’s San Diego
Behavior Interventionalist at CalPsychcare
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Currently I have transferred my BI job to SCV and am continuing my internship and working at my research lab remotely. Once I am unable to work remotely, I plan on taking trips to SD, to continue my work at the lab, since research is now something I would like to incorporate into my career. I decided to take a gap year so that I can gain more experience within the healthcare field. I will be focusing on gaining clinical experience, solidifying my application, and studying for the MCAT. Something else that I have been wanting to do for a long time is volunteer in clinics in underprivileged communities, so I have definitely been looking into opportunities for that.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Look for local volunteer opportunities! Ex: Henry Mayo, City of Santa Clarita, Project Linus :) Get involved in clubs at AOC, COC, wherever you can. I joined AMSA at COC and it introduced me to a lot of opportunities.
Advice #2: Take lab classes at COC! Taking college level lab classes will automatically give you experience to work in a research lab, and you can finish a lot of required classes before going to university.
Advice #3: Explore other interests you might have, even if it doesn’t necessarily have to do with your major. It is refreshing to learn about something different, and you might find something new that you are passionate about.
Advice #4: You do not have to major in biology or a science to go into healthcare.
Advice #5: One of the most important skills you will need for college is time management. There will be a lot of opportunities and you will probably want to join everything. Push yourself, but don’t take on too much. Learn to manage you time well so that you can excel in your classes, extracurriculars, social life, etc.