MC Decker

What are you planning to do next year and what do you plan to be doing five years from now?

I am enrolled at Marquette University School of Dentistry matriculating this coming August. In 5 years from now I will be a licensed and practicing dentist, considering a post-graduate program for specialization, hopefully moving back to Minnesota!

Why did you choose Biology as a major and how did you go about choosing the 300-level Biology courses that you took?

I chose Biology as a major because it was the area of study that most engaged me during my first year. I knew I wanted to major within the sciences, and after having sampled many fields, I felt Biology calling my name. I chose my 300 level class mainly within the life sciences, because I knew I wanted to go be a health professional. After determining which dental schools I would apply to, I chose my upper division courses based upon which ones fulfilled their application requirements and/or gave me the opportunity to be the strongest applicant. Additionally, I centered some of my coursework to fall within the field that my thesis research stemmed from.

How have your vocational/career goals evolved during your time at CSB/SJU?

I came to CSB/SJU knowing that I wanted to be a dentist, and I am thrilled to say that, with a lot of help from several of my Biology professors and other CSB/SJU faculty, I was accepted to 3 dental schools! My time as an undergraduate opened my eyes to the idea of research, and the possibility of continuing my research in a clinical or laboratory setting.

How have your capabilities evolved during your time at CSB/SJU and what has most contributed to that evolution?

I have learned more during my time at CSB/SJU than I could ever put into words. The most beneficial skill that I developed during my undergraduate career was learning how to study effectively and how to adapt so as to best absorb different types of material. A major in biology wasn't easy, but over my 4 years I learned that refined study habits and an organized schedule will get you a long ways. As far as my technical capabilities, I learned a lot in my various labs - ranging from isolating and replicating DNA to dissecting a fruit fly with the world's tiniest scissors!

What was the most rewarding experience you had at CSB/SJU (Biology- related or otherwise)?

Just recently I defended my thesis in front of a committee of Biology faculty and PASSED! The culmination of 2 years worth of research in one single, completed paper was pretty satisfying!

Do you have any advice for students who are not sure what they want to do after graduation?

Shadow! Think of any job that even remotely interests you and shadow some- one who does it.