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December 2021 grad: Amanda Mui embraced lab research and many other experiences

Photo courtesy of Amanda Mui.

Amanda Mui, a native of Delafield, Wisconsin, will be graduating in December 2021 with a double-major in genetics and genomics and Spanish. In this Q&A, Mui talks about her academic path, the wide range of experiences she had in college – including laboratory research – plus her career plans and how she was able to graduate early.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I am from Delafield, WI which is a small town outside of Milwaukee. I attended the High School of Health Sciences which is a charter school within Kettle Moraine School District.

Q: How did you choose your majors?
A: I decided to pursue a double-major in genetics and genomics and Spanish. I chose to major in Spanish because I had always enjoyed learning about the language and culture throughout high school. As for my main major, I knew I wanted to do something in the life sciences, but I wasn’t sure what until an introductory biology course (Bio 151). I found the short genetics unit to be fascinating and decided from then on to pursue a genetics and genomics major.

Q: What were the most meaningful college experiences you had?
A: My most meaningful college experience was doing research in a dermatology laboratory. My time in the lab taught me how to read scientific literature, independently perform difficult scientific procedures, creatively problem solve, and collaborate with others to reach a common goal. In general, my time in the lab gave me a deeper appreciation for scientific inquiry as I realized just how time consuming and difficult it can be.

Q: When you think about time here as a student, what are you proud of?
A: I am most proud of the wide range of experiences I have had while a student. I have studied abroad twice, held internships, worked in a research lab, been a teaching assistant, and worked in shared governance. Participating in a variety of experiences allowed me to learn more about myself, my interests, and what I am looking for in a future career.

Q: What are your future academic/career plans?
A: Although I was originally on a pre-med track, I recently realized that I couldn’t see myself as a physician. After doing several informational interviews and thinking more about my professional goals, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in healthcare administration and just submitted my graduate school applications. In the meantime, I will start working as a recruiter at Epic upon graduation.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with CALS students?
A: College flies by, and in order to really get the most out of your time at school, I would recommend setting aside time to reflect on why you are going and what you hope to get out of college. This way, you can be more intentional with your time and focus on opportunities that align with your goals. It is important to do this regularly throughout college as your goals will change over time.

Q: Are you graduating early? How and why did you finish early?
A: Yes, I was lucky enough to have the option of graduating early. I came in with some AP credits, and participated in the CALS QuickStart early start program the summer before my freshman year. During college, I took several summer classes to lighten my course load, created and followed a clear academic plan, and met with an academic advisor every semester. Although I considered staying on for an additional semester, I am glad that I decided to graduate early as I am ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.