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kanavmittal's blog

SIP Experience through SkoolMentor

kanavmittal

By Kanavmittal22 Sep 2019

This past summer, I participated in the Science Internship Program (SIP) at UC Santa Cruz. It was an amazing program where I had the unique opportunity to work in an actual biomolecular engineering research lab setting alongside graduate and undergraduate students. From reading past literature to conducting experiments and helping to write a paper, I gained valuable experience with the research process. My specific project was very computational-based, so there was a pretty steep learning curve while I learned how to use the various programs needed. My mentors, though, guided me through every step of the process and answered all of my questions about the project, both the computational and biological aspects of it. They even spent extra time guiding the other intern and me through lab procedures like gel electrophoresis or PCR just so that we could learn how to do it. Through the eight-week SIP experience, not only did I build connections with my fabulous mentors and fellow intern but also became friends with many high-schoolers from the area. Living in the same dorms, traveling by the same buses, and going to the same exciting activities organized by the awesome SIP staff (like spending an afternoon at the boardwalk) helped me create some wonderful friendships. By the end of the experience, my fellow intern and I had finished our bioinformatics project and shared a brief, professional presentation of our work. SkoolMentor introduced me to the SIP program. Without SkoolMentor’s guidance, I would never have had the chance to experience such an extraordinary program. SkoolMentor often has many other opportunities listed on its webpage or in emails – I highly recommend you check them out! I guarantee that through these opportunities, you will learn a lot and have lots of fun! Image credit: ucsc-sip.org

SkoolMentor for Transitioning to High School

kanavmittal

By Kanavmittal24 Feb 2019

I had my first SkoolMentor session when I had just finished eighth grade. I was entering ninth grade at a new school, and since I was in the private school system, not many people from my middle school were attending my high school. I, therefore, was not just a confused rising freshman but instead, I was a doubly confused rising freshman abounding with questions: what classes should I take, what clubs should I join, just overall what should I do? My first SkoolMentor session answered all of these for me. I was able to connect with a mentor who had attended my private high school and had accomplished so much during her high school career. She gave me so much advice on how to succeed in high school, and best of all, her recommendations were personalized to my school. For example, she told me some of the most exciting classes at my school. With her assistance, I went into high school much more informed and eager! Since my first session, I have had more sessions with this mentor and others. As I wrapped up my freshman year of high school, I needed to pick classes for my upcoming sophomore year. Again SkoolMentor helped me create an optimal list of classes – balanced with AP and honors and personalized for me. I also was able to use SkoolMentor for summer programs. Mentors helped me craft my applications for summer programs and in the end, decide which program was the best for me. SkoolMentor made that summer my best ever! SkoolMentor has benefitted me so much as a high school student, so if you are a freshman or sophomore new to the platform, here’s what I would recommend. Start with searching for a mentor. Try to connect with a mentor who has attended the same school as you, if possible, and if not, try to find a mentor who went to a nearby high school or a mentor who has similar interests. Your mentors then will be able to give you more customized advice. Once you have connected with a mentor, be sure to draft some questions you would like to ask your mentor about high school. High school is obviously a tough challenge, and the more informed you are, the easier it will be. This applies especially if you are a freshman transitioning into high school. Some generic questions could be how many honors classes should I take this year? How can I balance my time effectively between clubs, sports, volunteering, etc. and schoolwork? Of course, the answers to these questions depend on the person, but your mentor will discuss them with you to help you figure out the answer. Overall, though SkoolMentor is mainly dedicated to helping high school students with the college process, it also greatly helps students succeed in high school itself. Empowered with the advice of knowledgeable and empathetic mentors, you can not only excel in classes but also in extracurricular activities, all throughout high school! image: Freepik.com
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