Clarkson is the place for opportunity. It’s definitely a big difference, living in the North Country after spending my life in New York City. But it’s a good difference — one that I’m glad I decided to seek out.
I’m not your typical pre-med student because I don’t plan on becoming a medical doctor. I’m majoring in biomolecular science and minoring in biomedical engineering so I can eventually work in the biotech sector, developing new innovations to combat rare diseases.
A few years ago, my father had a near-fatal encounter with an infectious disease, which fueled my interests in pursuing a career in immunology. I’m particularly interested in brain-eating amoeba and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease — two rare and fatal diseases with no known cure. My hope is to eventually go on to graduate school, get my PhD in microbiology and work as a researcher.
Clarkson has helped prepare me for that future. The faculty really takes the time to help with any questions I have, and the great relationships I have developed with several professors mean a lot to me. I think that’s partly because of the small class sizes — I never felt like I was lost in a sea of students. Professors really pay attention to you, and that’s really helped me gain the skills and knowledge I need to excel in my future career.
Right now, I’m an active member of Phi Delta Epsilon, the co-ed medical fraternity on campus, and the Community of Underrepresented Professional Opportunities (CUPO) has been like a second home for me because it provides so many different academic and support services. They’ve helped me with book loans and research seminar trips.
I’ve also participated in Clarkson EMS, which is an emergency medical services club that provides a weekly health clinic to Clarkson students in need of minor to critical care, and TriBeta, which is Clarkson’s biological honor society.
Last April, I even attended some regional research seminars at Lake George, New York, and I completed an amazing internship at Columbia University Medical Center last summer. It really prepared me for my future: I worked on a two-month research project investigating the impacts of antibiotics treatment on immunity and the gastrointestinal microbiome of mice.
While I decided to go here because of the science programs — and the fact that it gave me a break from New York City living — once I got here, I was amazed at how many experiences and activities blend so well with my career aspirations.