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Interview with University Students: From Anthropology to Nanotechnology

Updated: Jul 22


GYEF conducted interviews with various university student to dig deeper into the college experience.


John: Researcher at Rice University, Department of Chem, Mat Sci and NanoEngineering. Trustee Distinguished Scholar, Century Scholar, School of Engineering Distinguished Research Scholar, and MSNE Merit Scholar


What initially made you interested in chemistry/nanotechnology? Why did you ultimately choose to attend Rice?

I am interested in science and engineering in general. I chose Rice because it had the lowest cost (I got the two top merit scholarships). I chose nanotechnology, materials science, and chemistry, because my mentor is a pioneer in nanotechnology, and we belong to the chemistry, materials science, and nanoengineering departments (CHEM and MSNE).


What were your stats and extracurriculars throughout high school? Out of those, what do you think made you got accepted to a competitive school like Rice?

My stats were okay. 1540 SAT, 3.89 GPA, 800 Math II, 800 Physics SAT II, 790 Chemistry SAT II, USNCO High Honors (Top 50 USA), 1 first-author paper in a peer-reviewed journal indexed in the Web of Science, Regeneron Science Talent Search Top 300. Rice is not very competitive to get admitted to. However, it is competitive to get the Trustee Distinguished and Century scholarships.


If you had one last advice for current high school/college students, what would it be?

Use your time and effort to work on accumulating the things that last. You want to focus on what won't expire worthless, and measure what matters. GPA and SAT expires worthless once you get into college. College GPA and GRE expire worthless once you get into graduate school. Connections, relationships, skills, experience, and knowledge are good examples of things that do not expire. If you only purchase with your time things that expire, then you need to start at zero at every step and work all the way back up to the top. If you accumulate the things that last, then you will start every stage of your journey with an upper hand. This difference becomes increasingly significant later in your career, when the stakes are high.


Hunter: Incoming Investment Management Analyst at Goldman Sachs, Amherst ‘21 studying anthropology


What makes Amherst so special to you? Was it your first choice and your dream school?

I think what makes Amherst special is the people here! I think the professors and students here are exceptional, and it is a community that I think anyone can be fulfilled in. It was my first choice school.


What were your stats and extracurriculars throughout high school? Out of those, what do you think made you got accepted to a competitive school like Amherst?

I don't remember my stats, but what set me apart in the application process was that I was recruited to play a varsity sport.


If you had one last advice for current high school/college students, what would it be?

My one piece of advice: you should know what you are seeking to get out of college. What do you want for your undergrad experience, and how will this experience shape or provide support for future endeavors. Second, go to a school that supports you. Some larger institutions are not as good at this, but it's important to ask current students about their candid experiences.