Sarah Shehata

Class of 2021
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Why did you decide to apply to UCB? 

I applied to Cal as a transfer student with the hopes of being able to participate in Berkeley's wonderful research culture. I was primarily interested in Cal because of how students are led to understand the material rather than focus on memorization. There is a difference between surface versus deep comprehension of material and Berkeley places an emphasis on ensuring that students have the resources to understand the material outside of the class such as through office hours and tutor groups. This is integral because it allows individuals to make connections with other subjects and this furthers the progress of research and discoveries. 

Why did you pursue MCB as your major? 

I pursued MCB as my major because I believe that science is not as simple as an If/Then statement. The complexity behind Biochemistry allows you to dwell in the realms of infinite questions. To go about answering these questions you have to have a basis of knowledge and from there make connections with other subject matters which is why I am thankful to have taken courses from so many of the other Berkeley departments. 

What is one piece of advice you would offer a first-year student or wish you knew yourself? 

Take classes because you are curious about the material and not for the sole purpose of wanting your transcript to look a certain way for graduate school. Additionally, don't hold off taking classes you find interesting. In fact, try to take them as early as you can, because you then have the chance to take more of these classes, and you can establish a new interest.

What is a sentiment that keeps you motivated, or a life motto? 

If at first you don't succeed,: Try, try, try again.