On the outside, she may look like any hardworking, science student here at UC Irvine, but Michelle Oei is hardly any ordinary college student. With a double major in biology and chemistry, Michelle proves that balancing a social, academic, and work life is possible in the land of prospective premed students.
As she is in her fourth year here at UC Irvine, Michelle has built an impressive resume of social and academic success. Since sophomore year, she has been an active tutor for the department of General Chemistry. She felt that it would be a good way to not only get involved with something on campus, but it also geared to her interest as a chemistry major. Now, she is the program coordinator for the General Chemistry Peer Tutoring program on campus. Michelle has grown to enjoy and appreciate teaching a subject that she not only is knowledgeable in, and but also interested in as well. Her program provides free tutoring services for students in general chemistry, ranging from Chemistry 1P, Chemistry 1A, 1B, and 1C. Students who take chemistry take advantage of such a program, and look up to Michelle for all chemistry inquiries. She is truly a savior in holding the key to all struggling chemistry students’ questions and concerns.
Along with tutoring, Michelle researches limb regeneration with Dr. Gardner, as well as volunteer for CHOC Hospital. Her extensive work at research and CHOC Hospital has magnified her interest in biology. “Biology is more applicable to humans because that’s how we work,” Michelle says. “Chemistry is more technical; it is the underlying science of biology.” Her appreciation for biology grows, as she is able to be more hands own with animals in her research lab, as well as observing an active working environment at CHOC Hospital. “Even though the work I do is habitual, I’m learning a lot,” she says. “Every little thing counts.” On top of these responsibilities, Michelle somehow maintains to have her social life intact and very much alive. Michelle has been an active member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, a fraternity geared toward pre-medical and pre-dental students. There, she is able to not only interact and learn of other fellow students’ endeavors as a science student, but she is also having fun.
But there is no betraying chemistry. Despite her back to back schedule of classes and lab and tutoring, at the end of the day there are no regrets about her double major. Being either a biology or chemistry major is daunting already, but to take on two very rigorous studies and still be able to maintain a social life is slightly insane, but undeniably impressive. Michelle’s next step after UC Irvine is to study at pharmacy school and be a pharmacist, but who knows where her future will take her. She represents and proves that hard work and dedication can get you where you’ll want to be, and you can be happy with what you’re doing too.
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