Completed a bachelor’s degree in Biology cum laude.
I chose to study Biology because I find it interesting. According to studies, biology is the most popular science among kids and adults alike, and it’s not hard to understand why. Biologists study an extremely wide variety of things, from diseases like malaria to brain function in memory and learning. They are trying to increase our understanding of the world around us, from the meanings of DNA sequences to ecological phenomena that affect our whole planet. They are also trying to work out how to adjust natural phenomena so they can be used for inventions and innovations to improve our lives, from curing cancer to developing biological fuels that may one replace fossil fuels.
Like most of you, I, too, was concerned about my career options after graduation. Eventually I realized that the scientific knowledge base a Biology degree gives you is so large you can always use it to find work in bioindustry, research, teaching, healthcare and more. As time went by, I saw that biology was evolving so fast that the scope of its application was only going to grow, and with it – the number of jobs that require formal education in this field.
I knew you could study Biology at many other places, but I chose the Technion mainly because of its reputation, and to continue the family tradition. Both my father and my older brother went there. However, after I began my studies, I discovered a few more reasons I hadn’t known about, and which I would like to share with you.
Reason number one is that I got a chance to learn Biology from a bunch of great experts, each in their own field. For example, my first year Biochemistry teacher was working on developing a biochemical blood test for early detection of cancer. In my second year, I had a Microbiology class with a teacher who was studying several types of microbes whose unique characteristics had previously been unknown. The teachers often present examples from the latest scientific discoveries and demonstrate the connection between the material we study and the work they do in their labs. Such professional sophistication can only be found in a research university, and at the Technion in particular.
Reason number two is the practical lab work you get to do throughout your studies, from watching animals such as sharks in your very first semester, to genetic crossing of drosophila flies in Year 2 and genetic engineering of microbes in the final semester. The study program also includes a research project you must begin in the middle of your second year. This means you have to join an actual research lab, and to plan and perform experiments to answer a biological question nobody has studied before. The results of your work can eventually lead to a new scientific discovery, and thus easily turn into an M.Sc. or even a Ph.D. paper.
Reason number three is the Faculty staff’s friendly and helpful attitude. As student representative, I got the impression that the Faculty cares about the quality of teaching and the treatment of students and is willing to cooperate with student representatives on various initiatives. The teachers are very helpful in every way – whether you need help understanding the study material or finding reference material, would like to know more about a subject that interests you, or have some other academic problem. This is not something you get at every university, and it definitely adds to the student experience.
So, if you want to learn a science that keeps changing and evolving, get some hands-on scientific experience, and all that in a friendly and supportive environment, I strongly recommend the Faculty of Biology at the Technion.