Alumni Talk about the Cal Poly Advantage

January 18, 2012

The BioSci department surveyed alumni in 2011 about their education. Here are the responses some of our grads gave to the question " Compared to grads from other programs, do you feel your Cal Poly education gave you an advantage?"

What Our Alumni Said About Their Advantage

I was able to beat out applicants from Stanford, Berkeley and UC Davis for my first position, based on the hands-on experience and course-related internships I had at Cal Poly.

When working for NMFS I knew more and was more able to adapt and apply my knowledge than some of my co-workers.

In my current position, I use what I learned from my classes and also my experiences at Cal Poly and anecdotes from college to help tell valuable lessons.

Everybody looks at a Cal Poly SLO degree as something way more prestigious than I realized. I ride on my degree as the most important accomplishment in my life, except for my wife and adult offspring, of course.

Cal Poly is a respected university and my Biology degree carries weight in the industry.

Cal Poly really prepared me well for med school classes.

I felt well prepared going into dental school.

The methods of instruction from great instructors like Dr. Villablanca, Dr. Buffa and Dr. DeJong, etc. really put me 'in the driver's seat' and gave me real first-person-experience; the culmination of which was embodied in a well-done, strongly over-sighted senior project.

I learned a very reliable, consistent and practical approach to laboratory science. In all of my jobs, after being hired, I am always commended on my higher understanding of the research techniques being used (all thanks to my training at Cal Poly).

Read more about the 2011 BioSci Alumni Survey and Results

What do they credit for giving them that advantage? 

"Learn by doing!"

"Hands on reality and critical thinking."

"Learning By Doing was pretty powerful."

"Hands on experience."

"Learn by doing. This approach has enabled me to feel confident seeking new skills/roles throughout my career. Nothing beats the hands on experience received at Poly!"

"Good academic overview."

"Quality program, quality professors, good hands-on training, high standards for admission into the program."

"The hands-on laboratory experience  (bacteriology lab, mycology lab, clinical chemistry, and immunology)gave me an advantage in applying for jobs.

Read more about the 2011 BioSci Alumni Survey and Results

Serra Hoagland on beach with turtle

Learn by Doing Leads to Conservation, Grad School

Alumna Serra Hoagland in her first job after graduating with her Cal Poly B.S. in Biological Sciences: Protecting endangered turtles on Texas' Gulf Coast.


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