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Alumni Spotlight: Raya Esplin

Raya recently graduated with a major in bioinformatics and a minor in computer science. She is from Provo, UT and loved the versatility of her major. Students can use it for pre-med, computer science, research prep, or going right into the industry. Raya shared, "you can really tailor the major to your career aspirations." She got a job working full time as a software engineer for a tech company in Provo called Smarty, but is planning on applying to grad schools in the fall for a PhD in evolutionary biology! Her favorite class at BYU was BIO 250 with Byron Adams. To quote her, "I've never felt more intellectually or spiritually enlightened in any other class."

Raya shared her advice for new students and thoughts about her experience at BYU:
"Don't be scared trying new things, even if they seem impossible at first. I never would have thought I'd end up loving coding, but I'm so happy that I was curious enough to try something I'd never done before. I've had the most wonderful experience here at BYU. The biggest piece of advice I could give to all life science students, and really all students in general, is to get into research labs. BYU has such amazing professors who want to help you succeed in every way possible. My mentors have helped me realize that I want to follow in their footsteps, which is why I'm planning on going to grad school. Also, go on a study abroad! It's so rewarding to experience a learning environment in a different country and culture."