Senior biology major Michael Dea may hail from San Francisco, Calif., but his home has been the world at large. Growing up, his mother – a health practicioner – traveled to treat patients in remote areas of the world, providing Michael the opportunity to spend parts of his childhood outside of the United States. The experience gave him a keen global perspective readily embraced on the bluff.
“Seeing the disparities in places has definitely given me the drive to try and do some good and give back,” Michael said. “And with its Jesuit values and commitment to service, LMU has been a great place to start.”
For the moment, Michael has traded his lab coat for an internship in the world of high finance at LPL Financial, where he is learning the ins and outs of stocks, bonds and client investments. He is relishing the new experience, calling it representative of the LMU experience, where academic and professional exploration are encouraged.
“I don’t think a major is necessarily indicative of what career path you should follow,” Michael said. “I think it’s important to explore your options and acquire different types of skill-sets. That being said, my end-goal is still medicine.”
In the coming months, Michael will begin preparing to take his MCAT while scoping out the best medicals school in California. His hope is to one-day become an orthopedic surgeon.
Michael says that LMU’s biology program has suited him perfectly, citing the small class sizes and knowledgeable faculty. The Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering currently ranks among the top 20 best undergraduate programs in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
He adds that he was afforded the unique opportunity of taking part in two summer research projects last year.
“I got to spend seven to eight hours a day in the lab working alongside professors,” Michael said. “It was a really cool, valuable experience that is a rarity at larger institutions.”
A particular highlight of Michael’s LMU experience has been his ongoing collaboration with the office of Career and Professional Development (CPD). He originally stopped by their office his freshman year for resume help and flash forward a few years, he is now one of their Peer Advisors, helping fellow students craft their resumes, conduct mock interviews and more.
“Working in the CPD office instills such a sense of professionalism,” Michael said. “I’ve gotten to meet so many employers and the staff is great.”
Outside of his classes and work with CPD, Michael is also a member of the Pre-Medicine Society, is a teacher’s assistant (T.A.) and was on the LMU rowing team.
As for what advice Michael has for future lions?
“Be a sponge,” Michael said. “Take in as much as you can, get to know as many people as possible and try things outside your comfort zone!”
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