Brian Wood

June 1, 2020

Class of 2020 Why did you choose to major in biology?

I chose to major in biology because science has always fascinated me! From learning about plants and photosynthesis in elementary/middle school to taking upper-division Bio labs and courses here at UCI, I’ve always been amazed by learning about how things work. Life is so simple yet complex and choosing to major in biology at UCI allowed me to pursue my interest in science while answering life’s questions.

How are you adjusting to remote learning? What is your favorite and least favorite part?

The most challenging part about remote learning is holding yourself accountable. I’ve found that forming a schedule makes me the most productive, but my current struggle is making sure to follow all of it. My least favorite part of remote learning is not being able to take classes with my friends as we had planned out our schedules together, but we still get to see each other through Zoom. My favorite part is definitely being able to sleep in often since I don’t have to walk across campus to my morning classes anymore; I’ve been well rested all quarter! What is one thing you wish you knew as a freshman that you’d like to give as advice now?

One thing I wish I knew as a freshman is that my time here at UCI would pass in the blink of an eye. I would like to have pursued even more opportunities that UCI has to offer, but there aren’t enough hours in a day. I decided to test the waters the first few quarters of my freshman year since I didn’t know what to expect, but I wish I would have just jumped straight in from the start.

How does your major fit into your life’s plan?

I feel that majoring in biology has given me the foundation that I’ll need as I move on to the next chapter of my life after I graduate this summer. Whether it’s pursuing medicine, research, or biotechnology, I know that everything will work out because of what I learned during my time here at UCI. I want to be able to help people as I grow older, and UCI and its School of Bio has given me the skills to do that.

What makes UCI special?

It’s a bit cliché but UCI really has been my home away from home for the past 4 years and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still remember visiting different universities in high school before making my decision for where to attend, and I’m so glad I decided on UCI. I still remember visiting UCI for the first time and I instantly fell in love with how the campus felt. I knew right then and there that this was where I was going to be spending the next four years of my life.

What’s one thing at UCI that no student should miss?

One thing that no UCI student should miss is making sure to get involved. Whether it’s joining a club, sport or research, getting to meet your fellow UCI students really makes your journey through UCI worthwhile. One of the things I loved most about UCI is the amount of involvement opportunities it has to offer. There really is a spot for everyone here and exploring your interests through involvement definitely makes UCI feel like home.

Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside of class (an internship, research project, publication, start-up, etc.).

The summer after my junior year, I stayed in Irvine instead of returning to San Diego and had the opportunity to work full-time in a diagnostic laboratory in Fountain Valley. I was able to take the skills and knowledge I had been studying while majoring in biology here at UCI, and actually apply them in a practical setting. I still remember having read about a test called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in one of my assigned class textbooks, but to actually have been able to prepare and run it in the lab was so cool. I was grateful that UCI was able to prepare me for a life in science. It was an amazing experience being able to perform a bunch of experiments and tests for the whole summer, and it was all thanks to UCI. I had done it; I had become a scientist!