Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
I think my biggest piece of advice about getting into science would be to stay curious and be open to new opportunities. When I was in high school, I knew I wanted to be a scientist, but I didn't know what kind of scientist that was. Discovering what you want in a scientific career is closely tied to discovering who you are, your passions and your values, and that can take a while to do. Exploring things you're curious about through classes, self-teaching, jobs and volunteering opportunities can help you discover what your passions are and maybe a pathway to turn those passions into career goals. While you're exploring, sometimes you'll come upon opportunities that you didn't originally consider. While I was in college, I got to study abroad in New Zealand, and got to conduct research while I was there. I couldn't have imagined doing this a few years before, and it was a daunting opportunity. Sometimes trying out a new volunteer position or research experience can be nerve-wracking, but by staying open to them, you may discover something exciting or transformative in your scientific journey.
One last piece of advice: building strong relationships with scientific mentors through school, research and other experiences can make a tremendous difference in becoming a scientist. Mentors can guide you to new projects and ideas, help you make new connections in your scientific community, and support you as you work through the frustrations that come with research sometimes. I wouldn't have my current research job or career goals if it weren't for all the amazing mentors I've had in middle school, high school and college.