MERLEY LAFLEUR 

FUTURE BIOENGINEER

My First Year at Temple

F-A.COM:  How was the transition from high school to college?

MERLEY: 

 

Pretty hard. It was what I expected, but not what I was prepared for. Felt as if I was under-prepared in many fields. I received many benefits from the activities that I took part in at Frankford.

 

F-A.COM:  What challenges and rewards did you have in your first year at Temple?

MERLEY: 

 

I faced many academic challenges and time management issues. Managing studying, commuting, and sanity time was incredibly difficult. I prioritized studying almost above everything else, which might’ve done more harm than good.

 

My second semester was a bit better with time managing and academic wise, but still needs improvements.

 

My reward was what I learned. I have matured greatly over those past two semesters. These are the rewards I get. A greater maturity means an improvement in character and personality, which will later be useful in the workforce.

 

F-A.COM:  Who or what inspired you to pursue bio-engineering?

MERLEY:

 

Above all, I am pursuing this career due to my personal relationship with Jesus. However, for my undergrad, I chose bioengineering for a variety of reasons.

 

It is the perfect combination of the two fields.  I am in love with, math and science. It allows me to be more of a competition for med school.

 

It will allow me to bring a different way of thinking in the workplace. Lastly, my brother, who is a civil engineer, helped finalize the decision with his advice.

 

F-A.COM:  You're working at Temple hospital.  What is your job?

MERLEY: 

 

I currently am working as an engineering intern. The internship is the Summer Clinical Immersion Internship program for bioengineers at Temple University.

 

I serve as mostly a medical observer. I observe the daily life in the OR and ER. I observe to see the possible technical problems that anesthesiologist, surgeons, surgical technicians, and many others may experience in the OR.

 

I learn of patient’s illness and different surgical procedures that occurs in the hospital with different rotations. I will then create a solution for one of the problems I have observed and present it at Temple University.

 

F-A:  To date, what have you learned from being in the national society of black engineers?

MERLEY:

 

NSBE has taught me the importance of networking and the effect of not being ‘alone’ in college. They provide the family and support that one may find themselves in need of during college.

 

Their supports falls within a variety of categories. These include academics, social, and professional.

 

F-A.COM:  What advice would you give incoming freshman?

MERLEY:

Find a rock. Something or someone that you can constantly run to in times of stress, insecurities, and doubts.

 

You can’t do it all alone. For me, that is Jesus. For others, it is a parent, a friend, mentor, or even a professor. Whatever, it is, make sure it is something or someone that you can fully lean on, so that you don’t end up giving up on the way.

 

F-A.COM:  Finally, what was your best moment at Temple?

MERLEY: 

 

My best moment at Temple was during my first semester. It was a Thursday night. Thursdays were usually my busiest. I had just gotten out of lab around 8:20pm. I was tired. Lab went horrible. I had a Calc quiz the next day for which I have not studied for.

 

I thought to myself, I know I am not getting home till 12:00 am. Lastly, I had an 8:00am class tomorrow, which I also had a quiz on. I was feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and simply tired.

 

Cru, a Christian organization, which I was part of, started late on that Thursday night, so I had time to meet up a little with the other members, but I did not.

 

I was not in the mood to talk, just wanted to hear the sermon, sing a song, and leave. The sermon that the pastor gave was one of my favorites ever.

 

But, he presented it in another way that comforted me that night. It’s hard to explain, but I had a sudden peace.  And for the first time, i felt stress-free.

 

I learned one important lesson.  It’s not the end of the world, cool down.  There are more important things in the world than academics.

 

This may seem simple to most people, but it was what capitulated to the mental stability I needed to finish the semester strong. It also led to a character formation in me that allows me to be a good candidate for future opportunities.