Our Q&A with Melissa

Why did you choose to go to MSU Denver?

“I chose MSU Denver because I grew up in Denver and wanted to stay here. I love it here. Coming from a low-income family, MSU Denver was the best choice as it is affordable and still a great school with great professors and resources. I had heard great things about it from previous MSU Denver alumni, and after attending, I knew I made the right choice. There are so many resources available for students of all backgrounds and programs to help you succeed in your courses.”

You’re graduating this spring! What are your plans after graduation?

“I am excited about graduating this spring! I am [a] first-generation student, so my whole family is excited about this accomplishment. After graduation, I have set two paths to follow. Currently, I am applying to one medical school. If things go smoothly and I get in, I will be a medical student at Rocky Vista University working on becoming a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). If for some reason, I do not get in, I plan on studying for the MCAT for one year before reapplying to other medical schools. I also hope to get a job in a laboratory and get some research experience to better my chances of getting into medical school. Additionally, I hope to continue shadowing doctors at [the] University of Colorado Hospital. My goal is to become a surgeon, not sure what specialty I would like to get into, though. I am interested in orthopedic surgery and neurological surgery as I am interested in working with the spine.”

What got you interested in majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry? Advice for current/future students?

“I started as a business major before seeing that biology was what I was actually interested in. I chose business as I never really took a biology class in high school; therefore had no idea how interesting biology is. Once in college, I had to take a biology class, and I fell in love with science. Learning about all different organisms and how our body works was fascinating. I immediately changed my major to biology. Chemistry, on the other hand, was extremely difficult for me. Even though chemistry is challenging for me, I am glad I chose it as my minor as it [taught] me how to get better studying habits and how to ask for help. For anyone choosing to major in biology and minoring in chemistry, my advice would be to choose classes that interest you and enjoy learning about all that the science field has to offer. Also, be prepared to spend a great deal of time studying! And most importantly, get yourself a mentor/advisor to keep you [on] the right track; it’s easy to take the wrong classes and fall behind if you aren’t careful.”

Favorite class you took at MSU Denver?

“My favorite class I took at MSU Denver is Human Anatomy and Physiology. Learning about how the human body works at such a small level was very interesting to me. I learned so many things about the human body that helped me realize medicine was the path I wanted to follow. This class made me want to learn more about our bodies and how to help when there are any illnesses. Virology is also a class I really enjoyed; it was especially interesting since I took the class when the pandemic started and was able to learn about how viruses enter our body and how we fight it.”

Can you tell us more about the Health Scholars Program? How did you find out about it, and how did the program help you? Advice for those considering applying?

“I found out about the Health Scholars program through one of my classmates who found out I was interested in medicine. He, too, is interested in medicine and found the program extremely helpful in his path. He recommended I apply and attempt joining the program. As he mentioned, he was right; the Health Scholars program has been tremendously helpful in my journey to become a physician. The program offers resources to guide you in the right track of whichever career path you have chosen. You will be assigned to a health career navigator who will do everything in their power to aid you in every way they can. I advise everyone who is pursuing a career in healthcare to apply. You will be able to explore different career paths if you are unsure of which path to take at the moment. You will not lose anything; you will gain more knowledge and have more resources available even after you are done with the program.”