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Student Profile: Katrin Hosseini

Majors & Minors: Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology and Drama
Previous institution:  Bellevue College & Green River College
Year/Qtr transferred:  Fall 2015
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Favorite quote: “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”

THE TRANSFER EXPERIENCE

What was the hardest part of transferring? 
The classes, the way the professors teach, the style of exams were all different than at community college. It took a while to adjust. Most of the science classes ask you to focus on critical thinking and application of what you’re learning, rather than just memorization.

My advice for others transferring in: start studying from day 1. Don’t try to cram just for the mid-term or final. You have to learn how to apply the material you’re learning. Go to lectures prepared every day and learn throughout.

What was something that surprised you in your transfer experience?
A lot of things were surprising. The big classes and curved grading. Outside of class, it was easier to find friends at community college because the campus and classes were smaller. Here it’s harder to find people. At the same time, the good thing at UW is that there are a lot of resources. There are more people that are willing to help you, more tutoring with flexible hours, etc.  I got involved in a lab, which gave me a way to meet people and make friends. Through that lab I got to transfer to another lab. Networking was really important to open doors.

I also got involved in Drama, which made it much easier to find friends because the work there is very collaborative and you have to communicate with people. I added the Drama major initially for escape, because I liked it so much and it allowed me to express myself in new and different ways. For Drama you have to be creative and have an idea of what you’re going to do. In science you always have to be creative too, so the two majors actually work very well together.

This quarter, I’m taking 3 science classes and am part of a show, so I have to do a lot of rehearsals. I literally have to find time to study between classes, labs, and rehearsals. I’m so busy, but I’m actually doing better in my science classes this quarter because of this.  I have to be very efficient about how I use my time. It’s been very helpful.

What do you miss about your previous school?
My teachers. Sometimes they had more available time to communicate with students. Here everyone is so busy. At community college, when I was tired, I could go and chat with my teachers. It’s harder to make a close relationship with professors here, but I have found many teachers at UW who are approachable. I took a history class with Joel Walker that had around 200 people in it, but he was always willing to meet with me and look over my papers, which was really nice. It wasn’t an easy class, but he really taught and I really learned!

What resources were most helpful to you when you were preparing to transfer?
The Martin Family Foundation Scholarships meetings before I transferred allowed me to meet and hear from other people about resources, where to go for help, and how to prepare. Teachers in classes at the community college that challenged critical thinking and talked about needing that before entering UW. If I wanted to know something about UW specifically, I would meet with an adviser at UW, either a general adviser or a departmental adviser. They were really helpful.

DISCOVERING THE UW

How did you select your majors?
I just took an acting class for fun and I liked it so much I decided to double major. Everyone was surprised. For Biology, I was always interested in science and wanted to be a dentist, so Biology was a good way to build that background and get ready for the next steps.

What are you involved in outside of academics? 
Between classes, being involved in research, drama performances, and working at Macy’s, I have no other time to fit anything else in.

After you came to UW, what made you feel like a Husky? 
The first day I started at UW. The environment, how busy the school is, walking around the fountain and seeing all the beautiful buildings, I thought about how lucky I am to be at a school this beautiful—that was my first impression. UW is a very good school with lots of resources and great professors knowledgeable in their fields. I feel lucky to learn from people who work hard and want to improve within their own fields. A UW professor just won the Nobel Prize! Who knows, maybe I can get a Nobel Prize someday!

What are your future plans?
After graduation, I’m planning to study for the DAT and apply for Dental School. I’ll apply to UW, but also others in case I don’t get into UW. I’m sure I’ll continue doing things related to drama and performance too, but not sure exactly how, maybe through local theaters.

BEING A MARTIN SCHOLAR

How did you first learn about the Martin Scholarship program?
I learned about the scholarship from a friend who was applying for it at the same time. She was at a different community college and had learned about it from an adviser there. It was exciting to learn about a scholarship that would cover so much. I wasn’t sure if I could get selected, so I waited until the last week before the deadline to start working on the application, but I’m happy I did it. I had a good friend who gave me feedback on the essays and that really helped.

What made you decide to apply?
I thought getting a scholarship was very hard, which it is, but you have to know how to write essays and you have to know about the scholarship you’re applying for and how it fits your situation. I worried about even having a chance. But I knew my friend was applying, and she had met other students who had been selected, so she encouraged me and reassured me that it wasn’t just academic performance the Foundation was interested in, but life background as well. So I gave it a chance.

What advice do you have for future transfer students considering applying?
Everyone should apply. At least if you have worked hard to get where you are, then you certainly have a chance. Writing and knowing that the people reading your essays appreciate how hard you’ve worked and are interested in improving your education, that made me feel really good. When I got the interview, I still wasn’t sure, but being invited to interview was such a joy. Someone was interested to know me, my personality. At the interview, I was stressed because it was an interview with the whole Martin Board; my English wasn’t as good as it is now, so I was worried. But when I got there, everyone was welcoming and so nice, it made me feel calm and safe. Afterward I felt so happy and positive about it, even if I didn’t get selected, I would have been happy because it was just such a friendly environment. The questions weren’t trying to throw you off, they were just interested in your background and academic work. Don’t be nervous!

What is beneficial to you about being part of the Martin Scholars community?
The financial support, certainly. Even if you’re at a community college now, the scholars already at UW are a resource for questions and learning about resources even before you get there. You get to meet students who have lots of experiences and are willing to be a resource for you. We have meetings to learn about other scholarships, study abroad programs, other resources, etc. I get to learn about information from around campus that I wouldn’t have time to research on my own. And you find friends!