What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?

High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

What Is the Most Important Part of the Mentor Relationship?

Achintya: Having someone outside my household, especially someone as accomplished as Dr. Patek, believe in me and my ability for success was truly inspirational. It was super beneficial for me to have a mentor to motivate me to pursue success both in and outside of school. I believe these experiences were integral to my acceptance to Duke.

Dr. Patek: Mentors are hard to find and are often not the people who are named your mentors or supervisors. The key piece of the mentor relationship is to help people get where they want to go, and to aid in the discovery process of where that person wants to go. Those processes of discovering oneself and charting a path to a particular goal in life are truly enabled with a great mentoring relationship.

Advice to a Student, Just Beginning to Consider a Career in STEM?

Achintya: The best way to know if a career in science is for you is to dive in with first-hand experiences. Through my experience with the HSAP program, I realized that a science job in academia was not for me and that I am more interested in pursuing a STEM job in industry!

Dr. Patek: Try out everything!

What Got You Interested in This Field?

Achintya: From an early age, I have always been interested in math and science. They were my strong suits in school and the areas I found to be the most challenging. I relished the problem-solving aspects of STEM work and the greater sense of understanding the workings of the world with each new class or idea learned.

Dr. Patek: I have always loved biology and figuring out how things work. In middle school, I had the opportunity to go snorkeling and I saw the amazing world of fish in the ocean for the first time. I decided right then that I wanted to work on marine systems and haven’t wavered since.

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Achintya Kumar and Dr. Shelia Patek

Achintya Kumar and Dr. Shelia Patek
  • The High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

    The High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP)

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