College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

Peer Advisor Profiles

Name: Bai Chen
Year: Fourth Year
Major: Microbial Biology
Favorite Classes: PMB c112, Biology 1A, Nutritional Sciences 10
Activities: SLC Tutor, RotaCare Clinic, American Red Cross at Cal, Cal Medics, Lab Research

Hello! My name is Bai Yi Chen (call me Bai), and it is currently my third year at Cal. I am majoring in Microbial Biology and want to attend medical school in the future. Growing up in Oakland, I've been around Berkeley and the Cal campus numerous times when I was in high school. Consequently, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Cal when I first enrolled-- Boy, was I wrong! I applied to Berkeley as a bioengineering major because I came from an engineering background in high school and thinking it would compliment my pre-med courses (How I changed from pursuing engineering to medicine is an entirely different story. Come talk to me to find out!) However, I had trouble picking classes because I didn't know who the good professors were. Also, I was growing unhappy with the pending classes because the engineering classes did not satisfy my thirst for biology and life-related courses. This once familiar territory never felt so unfamiliar. I was looking to change my major to MCB and transfer to the College of Letters of Science because that's what I thought all the pre-med students were doing. CNR wasn't the clear choice to me at the time because I was never exposed to the college and none of my friends were in it. It wasn't until I stumbled upon a chart from the Biology Fair that compared the pre-med majors that I began to take interest.

Having prior interest to bacteria and viruses and their relation to diseases, I decided on checking out the Microbial Biology curriculum. The curriculum contained the classes I needed for its core classes and a variety of other interesting classes for electives. I spoke to other CNR students about CNR (one of them turned out to be a PAL) to learn more about it and eventually scheduled an appointment with an advisor. And once I met Trey, the major advisor, the rest was history. Microbial Biology turned out to be perfect for me, especially after taking classes like PMB c112 (Microbiology) that really cemented my interest. It wasn't until I transferred to CNR that I found my niche. The student room in 260 Mulford became one of my favorite places to study (and sleep). It contained comfy couches, and study desks with angled surfaces that improved my posture. Overall, it is a great environment. Everyone has their own stories. Come chat with me, and let me hear yours!

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