Photo: Zepeda

Francisco Zepeda

Undergraduate ’21
Biological Engineering

Tell us about your first encounter with MIT's OME Office?
My first encounter with the OME was through the Interphase EDGE program. I remember stumbling onto campus that summer feeling like a fish out of water, a thousand miles from my home in Georgia. Walking into Maseeh and meeting the friendly staff and TAs put my fears and anxieties at ease and I quickly made some of the greatest friendships of my life.

What were your initial impressions?
As a freshman adjusting to my new realities as an undergraduate student, the OME seemed to be a place where I could always find a smiling face, a listening ear, or a kind heart. As a first-generation college student, it was critical for me to able to find that welcoming spirit at MIT.

Did those impressions change over time?
Just as when I first stepped onto campus, the OME continues to provide me with a sense of home and community.  As I have grown older and my professional interests and path have formed, the OME has also provided me with resources to achieve these professional goals.

What programs did you take part in, and how were they helpful?
I have participated in Interphase EDGE, Seminar XL, TSR^2 Peer-Tutoring, and The Standard. These programs were invaluable in providing academic support, adjusting to the demands of higher education, and helping me make my professional dreams a reality. These programs have worked in tandem to complement my needs as a student, as a developing young professional, and as a human being.

What was your most memorable or valuable experience with OME?
I loved working with the OME as a student worker. It was so rewarding to help advance the mission of the OME in a variety of capacities to help create the next generation of underrepresented leaders. It also provided me with perspective on all the hard work that happens behind-the-scenes to make possible all of the student programming they offer! It was also great to see everyone in the office on a regular basis.

If you had to describe OME with one word, what would it be?
Comforting :)

For graduating seniors and alumni: What are you doing right now, post graduating MIT?
I am applying to medical school this cycle. I have interviewed at a few different institutions and I'm hoping for some good news in the near future! If admitted to medical school I would begin my studies in the Fall of 2021.