My name is Mansi Patel, and I am a Biotechnology major and Biomedical Sciences minor. This will be my fourth year at UCF. In 2018, I graduated from Celebration High School which is close to Disney World! One of my favorite classes at UCF was Genetics with Professor Sotero – it interested me because it combined a lot of the important knowledge I had from other classes and allowed me to expand my problem solving skills in that specific subject. One of my favorite professors at UCF is Dr. Self – I have done research in his lab studying bacterial metabolism since Spring 2020. He has been a great mentor and is super passionate about helping students get into research and apply the skills they have learned from their classes. I joined GEMS because I heard that it was a great way to meet new people in similar academic programs, and it could also help you get started in research – these are both great benefits that the program has definitely delivered on. My goal is that my mentees will be able to have a smooth transition to UCF, and that I can be a resource when it comes to questions and advice about student life as a STEM major. My advice is to reach out and ask questions whenever you need it! There are lots of people equipped to help you or guide you in the right direction when it comes to academics – take advantage of it! Outside of school, I enjoy spending time outside, watching the new Marvel shows on Disney+, and exploring new places to eat!