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What are some important aspects that a future biochemical engineer should possess?

I am considering to enter biochemical engineering and I would like to know what subjects I should pay more attention to and how I could be better prepared for this career path. #engineering #biochemistry #college-major #biomedical-engineering

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Christos’s Answer

Hi Angelica,

Firstly, I'm guessing you're still in high school so I will my advice based on that assumption. The best way you can prepare for a career in biochemical engineering is focusing on your academics. You should try to focus on chemistry, biology and math. However, don't neglect your English and History classes. Good writing and language skills are essential to presenting data, writing reports and communicating with your fellow engineers and other non-technical staff.

Another part of the puzzle is your extracurriculars. You should also try and join any groups or organizations in your school that are science based. An engineering design group, a chemical volcano competition group etc. There are also science summer camps or courses on college campuses that are meant for high schoolers so try and research those as well.

I would say one more thing you could do is write out a career path. You don't have to follow it for the rest of your life but it can help you think. How do you want your career to look like?

1) High School focused on Science -> Undergraduate Degree in Biochemical Engineering -> PhD in Biochemical Engineering -> Professor in Biochemical Engineering

2) High School -> Undergraduate Degree in Biochemical Engineering-> Work as a materials engineer in a biomedical company

I listed two options but there are so many! But try and write out what you think you need to achieve at each stage of the process. How can I be successful in high school to prepare for undergrad? Have a high GPA and participate in engineering groups. How can I be successful in undergrad to prepare for working after? Maintain a high GPA, apply for internships. How can I be successful in undergrad to prepare for PhD? Maintain a high GPA, get close to my professors and apply to be a research assistant.

Lastly, I would think about your physical and mental health. Find some kind of sport that helps you exercise and de-stress. Try and make a routine out of it like brushing your teeth. For example: Every other day from 4 to 4:30 after school I go on a run rain or shine. Write a journal of your day and things that happened and how they made you feel. Or try and reflect on stressful or emotional things that happened during the day and ask yourself why you felt the way you did. Sometimes the immediate emotions we have (anger, sadness, frustration, jealousy) have a deeper reason behind them. Being self aware doesn't mean being a perfect person with no emotions, but someone who recognizes their emotions; and may help themselves minimize the impact that those "loud" emotions have on their mental health.

The reason I mention the last part is that engineering is a tough field that will test your patience and will stress you out. However, hundreds of thousands of people have done it and I believe in you as well :)

Christos recommends the following next steps:

Focus on Academics
Look for extracurriculars
Work on your physical and mental health

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Harry’s Answer

They should understand how medicine works and what can be created to understand certain diseases. If we know more about our material, we can find more unknown cures! For example, “ the common cold .” Most people recover on their own within two weeks. Over-the-counter products and home remedies can help control symptoms. There is no instant cure, if we learn using the materials we already have, we can find a cure!

Harry recommends the following next steps:

Conduct research on medicine
Find out, what the medicine has and doesn’t have!
Add what certain medicine doesn’t have so we can create more cures