Biological science majors spend so much time in lab they often develop a codependent relationship with the cells they’re testing. As some B.S. students enter into the workforce, fall in love, make children, and renew their vows, others are still not quite doctors yet. You’ve been alive since birth and you’re thinking maybe it’s time to start figuring out how.
What You’ll Be Doing
The purview of biological science is so broad, that successful majors must motivate themselves to choose a concentration like virology or genetics or even get as specific as neuromuscular junction (the connection of nerves and muscles). Research-oriented students should get into a lab in their sophomore or junior year to get experience with the specialized research of graduate students.
Like the major, job prospects are equally as diverse. You could study food science, treat cancer or go door-to-door selling used ultrasound machines (real job btw). Regardless of your focus, the distance between you and your career is generally measured in reams of exams. Each biology alumni I spoke to seemed to be in, gearing up for, or taking a break from school.
- “Biology courses build on previous classes, which requires you to incorporate new material into the framework you’ve already built. Working in lab groups throughout your entire collegiate career helps develop teamwork and communication skills. Even if I weren’t using my biology major, I’d still have a set of skills essential to succeeding in any professional environment.” – Mike Anderson, Virginia Tech Class of 2014, Orthopedic Technician
- “Exams helped me learn how to manage my time wisely, but I grew most from my extracurricular experiences. I worked at Mass General Hospital on the suicide hotline with people literally about to kill themselves; I had to remain cool and collected and really listen to what they were trying to tell me. I learned how to communicate and empathize in a high-stress environment.” – Sal D’Amico, Boston College Class of 2015, Clinical Research Associate
- “It’s actually good to get exposure to stress in school, because it’s what you’re going to encounter in the real world, especially if you’re a doctor. You have to be confident in what you’re doing and the decision has to be the right one.” – Sarah Yeates, Boston College Class of 2014, Patient Care Coordinator
- “Labs, labs, and more labs. You spend the most time in lab or doing work for lab for the least possible amount of credit. Also, biology is so big it encompasses everything from pre-vet to pre-med to exclusively research. Sometimes you take classes you feel like you’ll never use again.” – Mike Anderson, Virginia Tech Class of 2014, Orthopedic Technician
- “Everyone gets in peoples’ business. With so many pre-meds it was very competitive and so annoying. There were those kids who’d get a 93% and be upset and I’d get an 85% and be absolutely content. After every exam they’d ask, ‘What did you get?’ What are we, in middle school?”– Sal D’Amico, Boston College Class of 2015, Clinical Research Associate
- “The grades are so low it can knock the wind out of you. Everyone technically fails, but grades are curved around the class average, which means so is your happiness.” – Sarah Yeates, Boston College Class of 2014, Patient Care Coordinator