Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
When asking about the challenges of being a scientist, professionals often point the workload, the writing, the classes, the projects that need optimization, but no one really talks about impostor syndrome. As an undergraduate, I struggled deciding whether to pursue graduate school, as I didn’t see myself fitting in the sciences, not to mention higher education. However, that changed when I met my advisor. After discussing my concerns with him, he reassured me that I was capable of conducting research and pursuing a graduate degree. Other challenges have arisen throughout my academic career but feeling inadequate to pursue a career in plant pathology has been the most taxing challenge so far. I am fortunate to have a strong support system and advisor to remind me that I belong in higher education. Working with my mentor has not only minimized the detrimental impact of past negative academic experiences, but has also increased my self-confidence, sense of belonging, and science identity. Positive mentorship, guidance and support can have long-lasting impacts on students – encouraging them to pursue opportunities can strengthen their commitment to confidently pursue a career in the sciences.