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Mariella Quevada


I am a transfer student who is majoring in Bioengineering. Initially, I planned on majoring in Computer Science Engineering, but as college was approaching, it didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I became very interested in Biology and after doing research, I decided to major in Bioengineering because it combined my interest in Biology as well as Engineering and I’m really glad that I made this choice. Before transferring to UC Merced, I was attending community college. My experience here was a little rough because I felt that a lot of people were telling me “No”. Every semester, I was trying to take the maximum number of units so that I could transfer to a university faster. A lot of my advisors and professors at the time discouraged me from doing so and told me I would not be able to do it. Also, being a female in an engineering field, a lot of my male colleagues would also try to discourage me and would tell me that I am in the wrong field of study. Instead of being discouraged, I used this as motivation to do well and was able to transfer to the university after 2.5 years. When I transferred, I was greeted with extremely friendly and encouraging faculty and students at UC Merced. One of the reasons that I chose to attend this school is that it was a smaller campus and that meant that it would be easier to interact with my professors and colleagues who shared the same major as me. Unfortunately, the semester I transferred was the time that the pandemic hit, and I was only able to spend two months on campus. Because of this, I was not able to join any hands-on research labs which was something I was looking forward to when I transferred. Without experience, it has been rough searching for internship opportunities during the pandemic. This motivated me to push myself and aim high in my classes. I also took some time to teach myself some programming languages like python and C++ as I know this will help me with my career. During the two years that I spent studying at UC Merced, I am most grateful for the support of my family, my boyfriend, my professors, and the friends that I have made along the way. As I am ending my journey here, I am preparing myself to find work at a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company to find out what part of my field I am most interested in and then later use this knowledge to return to school and get my master’s degree.

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