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  • Aldyn Wildey Finds Her Calling in KU’s Biotechnology Laboratories, Lands Bioengineering Internship

Aldyn Wildey Finds Her Calling in KU’s Biotechnology Laboratories, Lands Bioengineering Internship

Bachelor of Applied Science in Biotechnology student, Aldyn Wildey, shares her experience in a bioengineering internship, why she chose biotechnology and what motivates her to excel.
Story by KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Hometown: Abilene, KS

Major and Minor: Major: Biotechnology / Minor: Business

Internship title and organization: Undergraduate Research Assistant, Institute for Bioengineering Research

Dr. Candan Tamerler
http://www.tamerlerlab.com/

What were your responsibilities during the internship?
My responsibilities during the internship were to help my mentors with various projects, collect data, and present the data and scientific techniques during group lab meetings.

What was your favorite part(s) of the internship?
My favorite part of the internship was just gaining experience in the Engineering field as a whole. I was able to contribute a lot when it came to the experimental side of things, but I also was able to learn about many different techniques and the science behind them from an Engineering point of view.

What did you gain from the experience that will be valuable to you in the future?
I received training on multiple instruments that some people don’t get exposed to as an undergraduate, so that can really set me apart from others when it comes to working in the Biotechnology industry.

Aldyn Wildey said the lab is where she thrives as she works through her Bachelor of Applied Science in Biotechnology. (Photo credit for this photo and the one above: Lindy Rhodes.)

How had the classes you’d taken at KU prepared you for the internship?
The classes I have taken at KU helped me an immense amount in my internship. My classes have taught me how to solve problems in the lab setting without having a clear direction, which essentially is what research is all about. My classes also taught me to not be afraid to fail and how to be mentally capable to keep going because a lot of scientific research is failure and only a small percentage of it is success.   

Why did you choose your majors/minors? Did you always know what you wanted to study? Or was there a eureka moment?
I always knew I wanted to help people using science in some way. However, the path I took to get here was not always the clearest. I initially started my college career majoring in Biomedical Engineering but couldn’t quite get through Calculus 2. Then I changed my major to Biology, but I was surrounded by students who wanted to go the Pre-Med and Pre-Pharmacy routes which wasn’t for me. I knew being in the lab and doing research was my true calling because I had always thrived in that setting, so when I heard about the Biotechnology program at KU Edwards Campus I immediately inquired about it. After meeting with the advisor and one of the program directors/professors I was enrolled to start the following fall.

Pursuing a major in Biotechnology has been the best decision I have made and solidifies that I am meant to be in the lab.

What do you plan to do after graduation?
I plan to pursue my Ph.D. in Neurobiology.  

What motivates you?
My motivation comes from a friend of mine named Carly Gassman. Carly passed away from brain cancer in March of 2014. When she was diagnosed I knew immediately that I wanted to pursue a career in science so that I could help people like her. Going through an experience like that is never easy, so I chose to keep her memory alive by going into this field and eventually receiving my Ph.D. in neurobiology.

Be like Aldyn, and pursue your passions, wherever they may lead you. Learn more about the Bachelor of Applied Science in Biotechnology, the Institute for Bioengineering Research and the School of Business.

This article originally appeared on the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences blog