“When I was admitted to the bioengineering department I was excited to dive in and start getting involved. During my sophomore year, I joined BMES (Biomedical Engineering Society) as a cohort representative. After two years of service, this year I am now BMES president.
The goal of BMES is to provide the student body with academic, medical, industry and social opportunities. We really try to create a community within BioE and help students to network, share their experiences and find a niche in the department based on their interests. We also collaborate with our industry engagement organization, BioEngage, to work with local companies, and help students find internship and employment opportunities.
At the end of my sophomore year, four other students and I co-founded a student-run journal called Denatured. We had just been exposed to bioengineering classes and were excited about outreach opportunities. We wanted to share what we were learning and noticed that there wasn’t easily accessible material about bioengineering. When you go home and talk to your friends and family about your major, there’s a lot of confusion about what bioengineering is. We thought it would be helpful to put out a journal about our passions and interests, and make bioengineering more accessible to the community.
If a student was interested in BioE, I would highly recommend to first try to get a feel for different fields. I wish someone would have told me to look at other departments for research opportunities. A lot of other departments have research that is related to bioengineering. There’s a lot of innovative stuff going on in mechanical engineering, materials science and chemical engineering. It’s not always highlighted how interdisciplinary the research can be.
I think that it’s important to take the opportunity to explore a lot of different interests. People get caught up thinking they need to join a lab and put out papers but I think undergraduate study is a formative time and I wish that I had tried other things. I wish I had been more exploratory towards neural engineering or biomaterials through taking a class, or trying new research.”