Leveraging a Passion to Succeed

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Rachael Pocklington
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By leveraging a true passion, you will find it easier to succeed

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Unlike numerous Georgia Tech students who grew up attending Yellow Jacket football games and learning to loathe the Georgia Bulldogs before they even knew what college was, I had never heard of Georgia Tech, let alone been to the state of Georgia, before my senior year of high school. After learning about Georgia Tech’s highly ranked biomedical engineering program, as well as its reputation for outstanding athletics, student involvement, and academics, I knew that Tech was an optimal choice for my college experience!

Kiersten Petersen
Fourth-year Biomedical Engineering
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

Unlike numerous Georgia Tech students who grew up attending Yellow Jacket football games and learning to loathe the Georgia Bulldogs before they even knew what college was, I had never heard of Georgia Tech, let alone been to the state of Georgia, before my senior year of high school. After learning about Georgia Tech’s highly ranked biomedical engineering program, as well as its reputation for outstanding athletics, student involvement, and academics, I knew that Tech was an optimal choice for my college experience!

The past four years that I have spent growing and learning at Georgia Tech have proved no less than optimal. I am extremely fortunate in that I have managed to maintain a high grade point average, serve as a leader for many organizations, perform academic research, and make lifelong friends. Most importantly, I have also managed to learn more about my dreams and myself than I could have imagined.

The first self-realization that I learned at Tech was that I needed to pick my priorities and limit my commitments to those I was the most passionate about. I entered Georgia Tech as a varsity cross country and track athlete. Within a few months, however, I was faced with multiple opportunities that required more time than I had to give. While it was not an easy decision, I knew that I had to pick between remaining a varsity athlete and pursuing all the other opportunities Tech had to offer. In the end, I made the wise decision - for me - to stop varsity athletics and focus on the academic, social, and school-specific activities that sparked my passion.

Like most college students, I discovered a sense of success by learning the fine art of balance. My involvement in multiple organizations combined with my love for my major is what has shaped my successful experience here. Membership in a sorority has been perhaps the most rewarding experience, especially because I decided to focus on the friendships and channel my instinct to lead for other organizations. This decision taught me that I don’t always have to be a leader to feel useful and needed, and allowed me to commit more time to and hold leadership roles on other organizations and activities.

Another realization is the importance of connecting with my peers, professors, and advisors. I made an effort to get to know other students in my class and form connections with my teachers. The foundation for my academic success lay in actively participating in class, asking questions, and initiating academic-based conversation with those around me. In utilizing academic advising resources, I was able to build solid relationships with two of my advisors, both of whom have played major roles in guiding me through my academic and future career decisions.

As for experiences outside of Georgia Tech, my acceptance into the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholars Program and my internship for Cary Pharmaceuticals gave me a glimpse into the world of professional scientific research and the world of corporate pharmacology, respectively. Most importantly, these opportunities made me realize what I would rather not do with my professional life. While the temptation is to become frustrated with such realizations, I am more grateful that these experiences have confirmed my initial passion to medicine and my goal to attend medical school and become a physician.

As a fourth-year student, my time at Georgia Tech is winding down. The friendships I have made and opportunities that I have had at this institution have set the framework for my life in the real world. If I can leave perspective for entering students, it is maximize every relationship and every opportunity, and to not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Great things can happen!

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Parent and Family Programs

Categories
Institute and Campus, Student and Faculty
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Keywords
Changing the Conversation, college of engineering, Dean Giddens
Status
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Aug 31, 2009 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:11pm