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Alumni Spotlight: Jen Macias

The Center for Biology & Society recently caught up with Jen Macias, a 2011 BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biology & Society who is currently a Designer/Partner for Fine Counsel.

How did your degree in Biology & Society impact your career?
While I did not require a degree for any of my professional endeavors, the Biology and Society program made a tremendous impact on my perspective and career. I like to think that the program served as a honing experience. It created a space for me to be thoughtful about integrating seemingly disparate subjects: art, design, and scientific communication. I literally got to fuse subjects that meant the most to me and evaluate their value and impact, which was incredibly challenging. It forced me to be sharp, creative, and thorough about anything that I presented. Those inclinations stuck with me. In a sense, it primed me to step into the world of freelance and run my own business.

What do you consider to be the benefits of a degree in Biology & Society?
There are several but among the most important is an immediate application to the real world. This program sharpens your perspective into usable insight. If you are genuinely invested in the experience, carefully select and value your mentors, and are receptive to what your fellow Bio and Society peers have to say, you can walk away with an actionable idea in hand. I would also like to argue that this program introduces you to some of the most interesting people on campus. I jumped back and forth from majoring in Molecular Biosciences and Biotech (MBB) to Fine Art Illustration before I figured out Bio and Society was the best fit for me. That said, I've attended a spectrum of classes and can confidently inform you that the diverse persepectives you meet in Bio and Society are rare and incredibly valuable.

What advice do you have for someone seeking a degree in Biology and Society?
If you must fail, do so quickly and often. Chances are, if you’re in this program, you’re going to have a lot of ideas but not all of them are going to be great. Don’t dwell on the ideas that don't work, let them go or backburner them. Keep moving forward, this a process not a pageant.

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