1. What inspired you to join the PINC program?
At the time, I had no computer programming skills. When I heard about the PINC program from a classmate, I thought it would be a great idea to have some exposure to programming, since in today’s world there is computer technology all around us. Shortly after beginning the first course, I realized what computers could accomplish by having the ability to analyze large data sets. I had never seen how programming could be useful to me as a biochemist - the thought had never even crossed my mind. I found out that there was a minor associated with the PINC program and immediately decided that I would pursue it! I knew that having another skillset in the science field would give me a great advantage and make my resume stand out to potential employers.
2. How is the GEN-PINC scholarship helping you?
I have been pursuing a BS in Biochemistry since 2007. It has taken me this long because of the challenges associated with being a self-supporting, first-generation college student living in San Francisco. Work has always taken priority over school since I had no one helping me monetarily. As soon as I received this scholarship, I was able to quit my job as a waitress and focus solely on school. I am now able to take more classes than I used to and can devote my time to my studies. It has given me the chance to see my goals in life from a different perspective, and I am beginning to view myself as a budding scientist.
3. What are your career goals and how will the GEN-PINC Scholarship help you in achieving these goals?
I would someday like to work in a research lab, researching some of the unknowns in science today. I am very curious in nature, and have always sought to explain the world around me since I was a child. This scholarship is helping me reach those goals by giving me the funds to focus on my studies and graduate. There have also been unexpected perks, such as receiving emails about other scholarship opportunities, webinars, and internships, having more specific academic counseling, and forming professional relationships with other recipients. Since being awarded this scholarship, I have attended webinars and applied to other scholarships that I feel I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.
We are proud of you, Patra! Keep up the fantastic work!