PINC Alum Andrea Guevara is off to Med School at UCLA!!

andrea guevara PINC
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Hi Andrea and thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions. First let me congratulate you on your acceptance to Med School at UCLA!! How do you feel and what are you most looking forward to?

Thank you, I am very excited! I am looking forward to being able to stay in California and experience life in a new city, all while learning how to be a doctor that continues to serve and care for my community.

Can you share a little about your academic journey at SFSU and your experience in the PINC program? And since graduating from SFSU, have you been able to utilize your coding skills learned in PINC?

I transferred to SFSU fall of 2018 to pursue a bachelors in cell and molecular biology after attending San Mateo Community College. I learned about the PINC program from Dr. Pennings and was interested in learning more about coding and the ways it could be applied to research. Before I joined PINC, I had thought most research was conducted in wet lab but through the program I learned more about computational research, the application of coding in data analysis, and how coding could be applied in various disciplines.

Since graduating, I've been able to use my coding skills in clinical research projects I've been part of. The coding skills I learned laid a foundation for me to be able to pick up other coding languages such as SAS and R and conduct data analysis during my master's program.

Being able to be in a space where we were all learning together gave me a sense of connection amongst my peers.


Learning to code can be intimidating, what advice would you give to students considering the PINC program? What was your experience with learning to code and how has it impacted your academic/professional trajectory?

Learning to code can seem intimidating but it is a skill that can be developed by taking it one step at time, being patient, and taking the time to understand the foundational building blocks. One thing that was helpful to me during the PINC program was to have a cohort, peers that I could rely on for support and reassurance. Being able to be in a space where we were all learning together gave me a sense of connection amongst my peers. For me learning to code as part of the PINC programs was amazing, I felt supported by my peers and faculty. I was able to learn coding and how to collaborate on projects which are skills that have helped further the research I've been involved with after graduation.


What was the application process like for medical school? What do you wish you had known before and what advice can you share with your fellow Gators about the process?

I was fortunate enough to have mentors and peers who guided me through the medical school process. Some advice I can share with students would be to take enough time to prepare your written materials. Remember that the application undergoes holistic review that accounts for your personal journey, experiences, and metrics. Also, be patient because there is a lot of waiting throughout the process.

Being a PINC peer mentor during PINC Summer Program was one of my fondest memories from SFSU.

Thank you, Andrea and congratulations once more! One last question: during your time at SFSU, you were a PINC peer mentor and participated in the PINC Summer Program; what did you find most rewarding about these experiences?

Being a PINC peer mentor during PINC Summer Program was one of my fondest memories from SFSU. It was rewarding to be able to connect with my peers in a different aspect, to help them build their confidence with coding and see their interest in coding grow over the summer. For me it was a full circle moment, from being once a student with no coding experience or understanding to have gained enough experience and skills to lead and support my fellow peers. This experience made me realize I had an interest in mentorship and helping students learn more about different opportunities to further their academic and professional development.