Alumni Spotlight: Amanda C. Raimer '13
UNC Chapel Hill-Matera Lab
My Widener Experience
Why did you decide to major in biochemistry?
I decided to major in biochemistry at Widener because coming into college I wasn't sure what I wanted to do as a career. I knew I liked science, and I thought that the biochemistry curriculum would allow me to take a variety of classes and learn about more topics. This major helped me to discover exactly what kind of science career I wanted to pursue after graduation, while at the same time giving me a well-rounded education.
If you were to do your college experience at widener again, what wouldn't you change?
I wouldn't change getting involved in undergraduate research. Research not only let me explore topics I found interesting, but it also helped me develop skills that are useful regardless of your career. I learned how to communicate my results effectively to various kinds of audiences. Developing and performing experiments helped me hone my critical-thinking skills, which I now use every day. Research also allowed me to get to know my professors and fellow students better. Overall, undergraduate research was an extremely fun, rewarding experience that ultimately led me to my current career.
My Professional Experience
What do you like most about your current position?
As a genetics and molecular biology graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill, I get to explore important scientific questions that I find interesting and develop my own projects and experiments. I get a lot of control over my education; my program is mostly working in lab on interesting topics instead of sitting in lectures all day. Also, I get to interact with renowned scientists and hear firsthand about all sorts of groundbreaking research others are doing. In my position I can be immersed in really cool science as well as contribute to it.
What advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
This major is very demanding but at the same time very rewarding, so don't be intimidated by the workload. Most of your classes, especially in the biochemistry department, are relatively small; take advantage of this and get to know your professors because they are really cool, very helpful, and are rooting for you to succeed. Get involved in undergraduate research as soon as possible. Research is so much fun, and you learn way more in the lab than you do in a lecture hall. Above all have fun; Widener University is awesome!