An Interview With a Biochem Major: What You Should Know

It’s something I never did, but something I always admired: that sect of students that chose to pursue their love of science in further education.

These are the people that work incredibly hard during their university years while many of their friends just don’t understand. What is a chem lab? What do you do? Do you get graded really hard? What do you want to do with a degree in Science after all, anyway? There can’t be many jobs in that, right?

If you’re like me and wondering about the answers to some of these questions, and more, or want to pursue a degree in a science field but want more information, I asked a graduate biochem student at Western Michigan University, Tara Maser, a few questions of my own.

1. Did you go into college knowing you wanted to pursue a science major? 

Tara: Yes. I’ve always liked science and knew that it was the field I wanted my degree in.

2. Why biochemistry as opposed to the other science-related fields?

Tara:  I chose biochemistry because I originally wanted to be a forensic scientist. I also chose it because of the broad range of science related jobs that can be obtained with a biochemistry degree.

3. Speaking of jobs after you’re finished with school, what are the job prospects for you after you’re finished? What is your dream job/field to be in?

Tara: My job prospects are really anything lab or research related. Either biology labs or chemistry labs. My dream job would be to conduct research on human diseases, possibly for a pharmaceutical company or to work with cosmetics making new fragrances or other beauty products.

4. You mentioned labs. I know students in your major do a lot of them and spend a lot of time in labs. What is a typical Lab session like during your undergrad/grad years? What is expected of you?

Tara: A typical lab session involves conducting experiments that are already chosen as part of the curriculum. You must be able to follow directions and procedures accurately, while recording all information and observations properly in a lab notebook.

5. Is a major like yours difficult? As in, are the classes themselves hard and is it difficult to earn and keep good grades?

Tara: My major is one of the more difficult ones. There are many chemistry classes in which obtaining a passing grade is really difficult. An example would be physical chemistry, where more than half of the students have to take twice. It is also a major that requires not only chemistry and biology knowledge, but a lot of mathematics as well.

6. Overall, are you happy you stuck with it?

Tara: Absolutely. It’s challenging and I like that it can help get me to where I want to end up career-wise. Like I said, I’ve always loved science, so it was natural that I pursued my degree in it.

Does This Sounds Like You? 

Tara is in no way the minority when it comes to taking up the calling of pursuing a degree in one of the many science related fields. If you, like her, want to take your love of science to the next educational level, don’t be afraid to do so. Talk to your college adviser about the right courses to get to your dream job. If you’re unsure about what colleges to apply to, head on over to the US News and World Report subject rankings and find out both the best colleges for your dream job and what options you have to pursue it.

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Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling earned his BA from Michigan State University. Jared has been writing since he was eleven when all his characters had swords and magic spells and bad attitudes. When not writing or studying, he can be found watching Spartan football and basketball games, reading, or working out. Jared currently lives in Chicago pursuing his MA in Writing in Publishing from DePaul University.
Jared Gerling

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