I Took a Summer Course At... / by Louisa Ulrich-Verderber

I am SO EXCITED about having taken a summer course on Biotechnology at The University of Chicago. What a thrilling experience!

The setting, the course content, the teachers, the other students: All were beyond my wildest expectations. This was not an open summer course. They took applications and only admitted qualified students. I knew the application process was a big deal but I had no idea that it was going to be so rigorous, and that I would be one of only two kids who were as young as just having finished the freshman year. And I am SO thankful that I had built this website and populated it with all the work I was doing in my Independent Study,  because that was the only way they had to evaluate my readiness. My high school transcript was so short and I had not taken any standardized tests. Thank you also to my teachers – Ms. Kane and Mr. Fugere – who must have written me some awesome letters of recommendation.

So the Biotechnology course was organized in a super-intensive way to get an entire semester’s coursework into three weeks. We had lectures the entirety of every morning and then labs every afternoon. As major projects, we had three essays due on three different subject areas of Biotechnology, a huge research paper, a verbal presentation and a big final exam.

In the end, I was thrilled to learn that I pulled and A-  in the course!.. I never dreamed I was capable of that but the subject fits so perfect with my interests and aptitudes that it seems to come naturally.

Thanks again to the friendship of my peers and the skill of the instructors. What a great experience. I will definitely keep the University of Chicago on my A-list when it comes time to do my own applications a few years from now.