Alumnus Shares College, Career Experiences

Joelle Nelson and Genie Lee

Melinda Schneider, a UC Irvine graduate, spoke to AP Biology students about the merits of a career in medicine on January 2.

Schneider, who graduated from Campolindo in 2010,  was inspired to find a career in the medical field herself while enrolled in Rene Gillibert’s AP Biology course. “It was fun to share what I’ve learned on my path, with all the campus students, and I know its information I wish I had known when I was in high school,” she said.

With help from Project Tomorrow, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting youth career paths, Schneider has been working to encourage underrepresented minorities from Orange County and LA to pursue medicine. She said, “because the patient population is so diverse, recruiting people from different backgrounds is really important.”

According to Gillibert, the purpose of the presentation was for his students to “be able to see an ex-Campolindo student’s experience and what she wishes she had gotten but never really heard from anyone at Campo.”

Gillibert hoped that Schneider was able to relieve some student stress regarding choosing a major in college. “I liked the fact that you don’t have to know what you’re going to decide to do in college, and that it might not be until college when you find out because I know a lot of high school students are worried about what’s going to happen to them after high school,” he said.

Schneider agreed, based on her own experience with Campolindo and the pressure that many students face. She hoped her presentation would inform them that “it’s not the ‘end-all-be-all’ for your career.”

Senior Henry Rogers, who is interested in a medical career, said, “The biggest thing that I got out of that day was that you can take any major in college without specifying in Biology… you can do whatever you want and just take the required classes, which is big for me.”

One of the points Schneider shared was that students didn’t have to major in a medical related field such as Chemistry or Biology, as long as they took several required regular classes to qualify for medical school. In other words, if a student decided they were no longer interested in medical school, they could fall back on a different degree because they chose a separate major.

Rogers isn’t too worried about medical school, though. “I have 4 years of college to figure it out,” he said.

“Having all the facts and information can really take a lot of stress out of the decision making,” said Schneider.