Caltech Student Panel
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About this livestream
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.
Undergrad College: Harvard University '16
Graduate College: University of Michigan, M.M.
Work Experience: Now in my third year at CollegeVine, I have helped dozens of students gain acceptance to their top-choice schools and have also advised and mentored hundreds more through my livestreams. I am also a professional conductor and a multi-instrumentalist, and I currently serve as the music director of the Apollo Ensemble of Boston and as Opera Saratoga's assistant conductor. I have led symphonic concerts and operatic productions throughout the United States, and I'm looking forward to making my international conducting debut in Vienna this fall.
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 CommonApp.org 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.
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