Melanie | Stanford, California

What’s something someone needs to know about you in order to understand who you are?

“My obsession for pumpkin spice everything.

Just kidding.

I am someone who is really hard working and is motivated to do good research: research that could be impactful. So, maybe sometimes people might not take me seriously, but I want people to take me as a serious researcher.

I’m a very determined person. If I have a goal, I will get there eventually, no matter what.”

Current Mission

To get my PhD in Biology. That’s my current mission.

I was just really proud that I was able to land this job at Stanford. It squelched my self doubt, because when you apply to so many jobs and you don’t hear back, or you go to interviews and you don’t hear back, you start to doubt yourself and doubt your skills.

So when I was able to get a really good job doing exactly what I want to do, I was really proud of myself- that I stuck with it. You get to a place where you’ve applied to so many jobs and you’re just like “Ugh. I’ve applied to so many jobs, I don’t know if this is even going to happen. Maybe I should just settle for something else”.

But in the back of my head I knew I could get a really good job if I kept with it. So I’m glad that I did, and didn’t quit sooner.

It means a lot [to be here]. I’m surrounded by a lot of people that are driven to do innovative and fascinating things that can really change peoples lives, and the world even…. That motivates me to want to do things too.

Just the other day, one of the doctors that discovered the double helix of DNA -seriously one of the most famous people in biology- was in my building. Just walking around because he had a meeting with one of the professors.I died. I mean… are you kidding me?! First off, I didn’t know he was still alive. But second off, he created what modern biology is today. To be around people that are doing that kind of thing is insane.

One amazing experience you’ve had?

Backpacking through Europe was a really eye-opening and exhilarating experience for me. Just to experience so many cultures in such a short period of time, but also to work on personal relationships.

You had to be with your close friends 24/7 for 5 weeks. You had to know each other really well and be able to tolerate each other that long. You had to figure out your weaknesses that impact others in a negative way… You had to realize your character flaws, what you’re doing to make another persons experience not as enjoyable, and figure out what can you do to make it more enjoyable.

On Being American

I find American society interesting. I feel like we’re really influential to other cultures in that when you go to other countries, our movies, our TV shows, have seeped in. So I feel like Americans have a go get em’ attitude. Or at least some of Americans do.

Life Philosophy

I think that my life philosophy is that you just need to be really happy and passionate about what you’re doing and whoever you love.


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