Alumni Profile

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Nicholas Garcia (Pleasant Hill, California)

Chemical Engineering
UC Berkeley

What are your research interest(s)?

My academic research interests are in development and applications of solid state devices and catalysts. My objective within my discipline is to work on projects that improve the well-being of poor people in developing countries by designing, adapting, and disseminating scalable and sustainable technologies.

What are your Interests outside of school and research?  What do you like to do for FUN?

I like to learn different languages and travel. Right now I am learning Mandarin Chinese. During the semester I like to take long runs when I have time. I ran 20 miles on Sunday and again yesterday.

How did you hear about the ACCESS program? Why did you apply?

I heard about the ACCESS program through a program at Berkeley called NERDS. I applied because I was considering graduate school but wasn't sure if it was the right decision for me, and wanted to see what graduate programs in other places were like. Also, the chance to visit MIT and talk with professors and students there was very exciting.

What were some interesting/fun things you did at ACCESS and/or people you met?

I had a great time talking with the students, professors, and post-docs, as well as with the other students on the program. It really opened my eyes to have so many new perspectives and to see all the things that people were doing with their research or after graduation.

What was your favorite part of the weekend and why?

My favorite part of the weekend was having lunch and talking with the post-docs and graduate students because they had really interesting stories to tell.

Do you think you benefitted from the program – did it help you in any way? Why or why not?

I know I benefitted from the program in terms of becoming more excited about going to graduate school and by having a clearer picture of what was out there in terms of opportunities and paths people have taken.

Prior to attending ACCESS, did you have plans to apply for Graduate School? How did ACCESS impact your decision?

Prior to attending ACCESS I was not sure I wanted to apply to Graduate School and afterwards I was certain I wanted to apply.

Are you planning on applying to/attending Graduate School now?  If so where?

I am planning on applying to Graduate School this fall.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?

In five years time I see myself working to develop a new technology from lab scale to production scale as an engineer. In ten years I imagine I will be leading a group or company working internationally to develop new industrial ventures.