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Why did you decide to pursue research experiences during your undergrad?

Research allows me to delve deeply into topics that intrigue me, satisfying my innate curiosity and thirst for knowledge. I love it for the sense of agency and self-worth it gives me: There's a unique sense of fulfillment in contributing my insights to the collective pool of human knowledge. Plus, I see it as a path toward potentially influencing informed policy decisions in the future.

What have your experiences with research been like?

I find research to be challenging as it can be tedious and I often struggle to see what my impact, or what my potential impact, can be. It also doesn’t help that the field is so competitive; there’s so much resistance to pursuing something you’re genuinely passionate about. Nonetheless, I love it for the freedom it gives me to pursue questions of my choosing. It has its hurdles, but the people I get to meet and the diverse projects I get to contribute to and create, are so rewarding.
What got you involved in

As neither of my parents had the opportunity to complete high school, I grew up navigating the complex world of academia alone. I got involved with PREDOC because it offered itself as a guiding hand: Through the summer school, I met incredible mentors and active researchers in my fields of interest, connected with peers of a similar background, and was invited to present my work at the Fed — opportunities I would’ve never gotten otherwise. PREDOC provided invaluable support for me, someone uncertain about their research journey. 
What do you hope other students might take away from’s offerings?

If you are in the same boat I was in (i.e. uncertain about pursuing academia), take advantage of PREDOC's resources! PREDOC facilitates finding your path in research, offering guidance and support to help you discern if academia aligns with your values and aspirations. It serves to connect you with mentors and peers who understand the unique challenges of research, and for such a competitive field, it’s especially warming to be welcomed by people who want to help you.