We recently caught up with biochemistry and molecular biology alumnus Jonathan Woo ’15. Jonathan is in his second year of medical school at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine located in his hometown of Honolulu, HI. We asked him a few questions about how Chapman University influenced his getting into medical school and how he likes it so far.
During your years at Chapman, what helped you get into med school?
I’d say the biggest thing by far Chapman gave me was confidence in myself, which is a pretty important trait in the medical field.
The caring professors, mentors, and peers I was surrounded by during my time at Chapman made it possible for me to mentally advance to the next stage of education. Moving alone to California from my home in Hawaii was a bit of a culture shock, and I remember being pretty scared to speak up in class initially. The support of my Chapman ‘ohana (family) definitely allowed me the personal growth necessary to continue to medical school.
My upperclassmen friends served as role models to me, and became my “pre-med” advisor when I had questions. I also had awesome, knowledgeable professors who not only helped me learn the topics I needed for the MCAT, but also helped me acquire experiences that helped my applications stand out, like doing research, an internship at Medtronic, and tutoring and supplemental instruction jobs.
What is med school like for you?
Medical school here is wonderful. It is challenging but also really rewarding and fun applying scientific principles to medicine and the human body. It is a large volume of information to take in, but my Chapman education gave me a superb, interdisciplinary foundation to build medical knowledge off of. I am definitely thankful for the professors and classes I took at Chapman in preparing me for school now (and this is not just limited to my science professors).
Were you a part of any on campus organizations?
I had a lot of fun during my time at Chapman. I was a member of Tri-Beta, NSCS, and of course Hawaii Club, where I held a couple leadership positions. Also, I want to make a special shout out to my fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau – hoorah!
Finally, although not a specific campus organization, it was nice having Chapman’s tight-knit science community, especially those interested in healthcare, around for peer-support and keeping each other on track for graduate school related stuff. This is one great aspect of Chapman’s science program that helped create a positive learning environment for me.