Northeastern University

@Northeastern_COS #sciencechat: ask a first-year

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Rising sophomore Nick Polanchik rising will host the College of Science's #sciencechat on Twitter on Wednesday, August 7th. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

Nick Polanchik is about to start his second year as a biology major, mathematics minor in Northeastern’s College of Science. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

On Wednesday afternoon, incoming science students (and all incoming students, for that matter) will have the pleasure of “Twitter chatting” with someone not too far removed from their own experience.

Nick Polanchik, a rising second-year student majoring in biology and minoring in mathematics, will be this week’s guest on #sciencechat, a conversation held on Twitter and hosted by the College of Science. At 1 p.m., Polanchik will take a seat behind the invisible, 140-character microphone to answer any and all questions incoming students might have with only a few weeks remaining before the fall semester begins.

Polanchik is a summer orientation leader, so he already has a lot of answers—and if he’s stumped, he’ll know how to find the go-to person.

“You should never be afraid to ask,” he told me. In the Northeastern community, he said, students have the right to think what they want to think, study what they want to study. “President Aoun is very adamant about it.”

Polanchik came to Northeastern from a very large high school where he was exposed to non-traditional science courses such as biochemical ethics and the future of science. So he knew early on that he either wanted to conduct research or attend medical school. Unable to decide, he chose Northeastern, where he could get hands-on experience doing both types of work through the co-op program. For his first co-op in Spring 2014, he hopes to land in a research lab.

But he learned somewhat by accident that he doesn’t have to wait until then to get his foot in the door to a lab. Guess how he found out: He asked a question. He went to his genetics professor’s office hours to talk about something entirely different and ended up discovering he could do his work-study in a research lab.

“Northeastern offers a wonderful array of opportunities that many people don’t know about unless they ask,” Polanchik said. Today at 1 p.m. is just another chance to do so.


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