Caltech Student Panel

Recorded Thursday, September 24 at 12:00 AM

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This livestream was part of the 🎪 Student panel college fair. Recordings for all 100+ Q&A panels are available.

About this livestream

School information

California Institute of Technology | Caltech

Pasadena, CA

Ask current Caltech students questions about academics, campus life, dorm living, and more. Livestream viewers will get to vote on questions and ask their own!

Meet the panelists: Amy, Nayla, Dominic, Regina, Varun

Amy is a rising senior at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), majoring in Chemical Engineering. Amy is secretary of her school's chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the vice president of the school's Tau Beta Pi Engineering Society. She conducts research in the Frances Arnold Lab and is a member of acapella. Outside of school and work, she enjoys photography, hiking, tennis, and basketball.

Nayla is a senior from Deptford, New Jersey attending California Institute of Technology. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering with a focus in biomolecular. Nayla is an active undergraduate researcher of directed evolution in Dr. Frances Arnold’s lab. Outside of academics, she is a captain of Caltech Women’s Soccer team. Nayla also enjoys spending time with her friends, reading, and traveling.

Dominic is a senior at Caltech studying Applied Physics. He’s interested in pursuing a PhD, and has performed research in nanoscale opto-electronics, optical fiber coupling, and photonic inverse design. In addition to classwork and research, he’s an avid outdoorsman, who enjoys camping, backpacking, and surfing

Regina is a rising senior at Caltech originally from Los Angeles, California. She is pursing a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on robotics, and hopes to continue her education further in grad school. She enjoys building things that move and have no purpose outside of the classroom. Regina is an active member in her house at Caltech, and is currently a Social Director of Lloyd. Outside of school she is a huge foodie, and enjoys hiking as well as ceramics.

Varun is a Senior from Midland, MI at Caltech where he is majoring in Bioengineering. He is currently the undergraduate student body president and a member of the tennis team.

School information

California Institute of Technology | Caltech

Pasadena, CA
Your host

Undergrad College: Harvard University '17

Major: Music

Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.

Work Experience: Now in my fourth year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored thousands more through my livestreams. Apart from my work at CV, I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist. I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston, and I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States.

My Admissions Story: Initially interested in pursuing a career as a performing cellist, I applied almost exclusively to music schools with dual and double degree options and ultimately enrolled in the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Dual Degree Program. Unhappy with the combined program and worried I'd never feel like I was fully a student at either school, I logged back into in October of my freshman year. I can't say I went about the transfer process in the smartest way (I only applied to two schools!), but Harvard miraculously accepted me (or 'excepted me' as I wrote in a celebratory Facebook post that day - no one ever let me live that one down), and the rest was history.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Elias and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
12:16@anonymous:What do you do outside of your academics?
14:30@anonymous:Is it possible to do well in school while holding a job?
17:02@R9:How is the workload in Caltech? How do you balance your academic studies with your social life?
19:46@anonymous:I was wondering about the house system, could you describe those a bit more?
21:36@anonymous:What is the campus like? Is it spaced out over a large space filled with nature or is it a close space? How do you get across campus from class to class?
23:15@Abhi_Raval:How is the food?How are the dining halls?
25:27@anonymous:Is there a diverse selection of food in the area?
26:21@anonymous:Is the food in the dining halls allergy friendly?
26:48@Valruizr910:could you share your experience in one of these houses? What's a special tradition you have?
29:42@anonymous:Do you have any insight on Aerospace engineering specifically?
32:43@anonymous:I've heard that a PE credit is required. Is this true?
35:02@anonymous:Do you guys have any thoughts on the biomedical engineering ?
36:18@anonymous:Are there many internship/research opportunities other than those relating aerospace engineering, because I've heard a lot about NASA and SpaceX opportunities. (Varun specifically)
36:40@anonymous:What are internship opportunities like?
37:25@anonymous:I've heard that professors trust students so much that they give students keys to labs and let them take their tests back to their dorm. Is this true?
39:34@anonymous:How do you like your professors?
44:25@anonymous:What were the highlights of your application?
45:55@anonymous:For Amy: You mentioned you did math competitions. Did you take the AMC/AIME/USA(J)MO?
48:07@spacewinner:For Nayla: What was the summer program you did?


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