Name: Fernando De La Torre
School: San Diego Mesa College, UCLA (Fall 2015 Transfer Student)
Why did you choose a STEM major?
I always liked science, but I didn’t pursue it until something caught my eye. It wasn’t something that I immediately wanted to do. I took human anatomy and physiology. Then I took a microbiology course, and I really enjoyed the subject. I felt that I could contribute to society by doing research in antimicrobials.
Have you ever considered leaving your STEM major?
No, not anymore. The only problem I ever had was that everyone else wanted to be a doctor. When everyone wants to do something, it’s easy to believe that you want to do it too, when in fact you might like something else. My biology professor said that I had a way of explaining concepts that made it easy for others to understand, and that I understood concepts well. This helped me decide to follow the PhD route or the MD/PhD route.
What keeps you motivated to stay in STEM?
There are classes that don’t come as naturally to me but they are overshadowed by the ones I like, biology and chemistry. It’s not that I don’t like math and physics. I work hard in those classes because I know they will help me be a better researcher in what I want to study.
What is your favorite study habit?
I like studying in libraries. I like quiet places and tidy places and places where I can have a cup of coffee. My room is where I have all my papers about. My room is where I go to sleep. I don’t like to study there.