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STUDENT PROFILE

Talal Beidas

Major:
Biology Honors
Minor:
Pre-Health Professions Certificate
Graduation Year:
May 2017
"It took me one year of college to realize that studying harder does not mean pulling overnighters, but rather 'studying smarter.'"

What has been the most rewarding part about working at the Sanger Center?
The most rewarding part about working at Sanger Center is discovering my passions and what I enjoy doing most—mentoring and educating. Being a dentist was always the plan, but the exact reasons why I wanted to become one was not clear until these jobs. I slowly began to realize how I will also be mentoring and educating as a dentist through interactions with my patients.

What has been the most surprising aspect of your job?
The most surprising aspect of my job is how many new friends I’ve made through Peer Academic Coaching and tutoring. I still stay in touch and hang out with many of the participants. I actually met my best friend of three years through PAC!

Tell us about a time you worked with a student (or a group of students) and were particularly proud of the outcome. What happened? Why was it special?
During my second year as a peer academic coach, I was paired with a student who was finding it hard to balance between school, family, and social life. Most of the stress stemmed from not knowing what she wanted to do in the future. Because her two interests were so different (pharmacy and business), she was also finding it hard to pick what classes she wanted to take. That semester, we worked on getting her in touch with pharmacists and accountants, leading to her decision to pursue a bachelors of business administration. We also found two social clubs for her to join. By the end of the semester, she finally felt that she had a firm grip on this daunting task commonly referred to as “college!”

What do you think is the biggest myth about learning/studying in college?
The biggest myth about studying in college is that performance on tests directly correlates with time spent studying. It took me one year of college to realize that studying harder does not mean pulling overnighters, but rather “studying smarter.” It seems obvious, but many students forget that you only need to perfect what is going to be tested, and not every detail discussed in class!

Tell us about an academic challenge you encountered when you got to UT. How did you handle it? What advice would you give to someone in that same situation?
I’ve always known I wanted to be a dentist, but figuring out how to get there once I got to UT was very challenging. Entering as a freshmen with an undeclared major, I had no idea what path to take. I took classes in many different disciplines to cover the most ground. I ended my year with all the prerequisite courses to potentially transfer to either McCombs School of Business or the College of Natural Science. I spent the summer applying to these schools and speaking to my dentist mentors. After acceptance to both schools, I pursued what I loved most: science.