My time in high school
Attended high school in the
Overall high school experience
3/10. I had a good group of close friends, but I never felt a part of high school. I was shy and didn't know how to be social in the way most people were. I had lots of crushes, but never went on any dates. I enjoyed classes, but was overworked, and realize now, probably depressed.
Grades in high school
Performing Arts, Science
Math probably, although I did fine in it! I did well in English too, but I didn't have the patience to read all those classics.
Life since high school
Attended college / university at
I went to UC Davis, and studied avian sciences, with a focus on raptor biology. I did falconry! It was really cool!
Post-graduate education or training
I got a MS and a PhD at UC Davis. I studied avian physiology and endocrine disruption. I did my postdoc at UC Boulder in Colorado, and studied brain hormones in mice.
Places lived in US
Places lived outside the US
I spent 4 months in Australia during grad school. You should go there!
Current occupations / past occupations
I currently work at a non-profit, as well as a large consulting company. I study the effects of environmental chemicals on human health. I do all literature reviews, which means I don't do any "bench science." It is all on computers, studying other people's research. I like not having to kill animals for work! I also enjoy working outside the rigors of academia.
Industries I've worked in
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (e.g. Law, Accounting, Interior Design, Graphic Design, R&D, PR, Advertising, etc.)
- Educational Services
Has your education or career/occupation trajectory ever changed? How?
I definitely wanted to go to vet school, up until I got in! I decided to go to grad school instead. It was a good decision. No student loans, and I liked the intellectual stimulation I got from grad school, and from my current job as a research scientist.
A little introspection...
To me, being successful means...
Being financially independent, making enough money to work less hours, being able to support my hobbies and passions and spend time with my boyfriend and baby.
My definition of success has changed over time.
Success for me was very goal oriented: get good grades, finish high school, then college, then vet school. When I finished college and made the decision not to go to vet school, I was completely stumped about what to do. I then decided to go to grad school, and the goals came back into my life. BUT when I finished grad school... there I was again, unsure what to do next!! In the 7 years since finishing grad school, I have realized what is most important is that I am able to live my life exactly how I want to. I enjoy my work but feel most successful when I am doing the things I love outside of work.
My greatest accomplishment to date and what I’ve learned from it
Beating depression (with therapy and medication). I learned that I never have to be stuck in a life that is making me unhappy. Also having a baby!
My biggest mistake or regret so far and what I’ve learned from it
Feeling like I needed to be in a relationship that wasn't working, and letting it cut me down instead of taking control and being happier sooner.
An unexpected event that significantly changed my life and how it impacted me
I didn't get into vet school the first time I applied, and it was very surprising, since I had done everything right to get in. Although I tried again and got in the next year to another school, I decided not to go. The rejection gave me time to think about what I really wanted to do in my life.
Anything else you'd like to share?
At some point, I realized I needed to stop waiting for my life to start, and just started living it. I was MUCH happier after this revelation! Also, high school sucks for a lot of people, and it is such a tiny fraction of your life.
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My favorite spot in or around Palo Alto
Bol Park, visiting Mickey the Donkey