Tell Us about Yourself
High school senior applying for college studying biochemistry and medicine
What AEOP program(s) did you participate in?
Words of Advice?
Don’t be afraid to reach for things outside your comfort zone. You never know what you may end up enjoying or how much you can really accomplish until you try.
Best Things about the Program?
I worked in the Jha Lab in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin, where I learned how to use things like a centrifuge and a micropipette, equipment I had only read about in textbooks. This program gave me the chance to work in a real lab with equipment only available to graduate students. The experiences I had trying out techniques and procedures for experimentation were invaluable. I now have a head start working on a college campus that other high schoolers don’t. I worked under a professor and a graduate student, and they (as well as the rest of the lab staff) have given me valuable advice about college and a field of research that I never would have gotten otherwise.
How Participating in AEOP Inspired You to Advance in the STEM Field?
Having research in a university lab on my resume has opened many doors to schools I previously considered out of my reach. Also, research opportunities on campus as an undergraduate student are now one of my biggest priorities in looking for a school. This summer has allowed me to realize how important research in a scientific field in addition to normal coursework is because it allows students to gain a new perspective on current topics that could have great effects on the present day. The well-rounded education that research provides is what allows a student to really grow into the best version of themselves.
As a result of the program
This program has given me the chance to intern in a university lab while still in high school, allowing me to work with grad students and become a college student for the day. In addition, I learned so much about something that I never knew I would be interested in. I spent the summer learning about the pollination patterns of native bees, introducing me to a field completely different from the average biology class. In learning about something so new, I was exposed to a compelling side of something that I loved, making me even more confident that I want to study in this field in the future.