Biomedical engineering major Andre Calderón is gaining technical skills while developing as a leader and innovator — tools that will serve him well when he begins his career in one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Through South Carolina’s biomedical engineering program, Andre has had the opportunity to pair his passion for improving people’s quality of health with his desire to work on innovative and cutting-edge projects.
Andre also completed an internship at the McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, a center at South Carolina focused on aerospace-related education, research, K-12 STEM support, workforce development and industry engagement.
“With my internship, I was able to explore the chemical engineering field and lead projects while experimenting and discovering my best path forward. It really helped me discover what type of jobs I enjoy most.”
Connecting to campus
Andre found his way to South Carolina from his home in Mexico after learning about the academic programs and visiting campus. Coming to South Carolina as an international student was not without some challenges, but Andre quickly found ways to make friends and make a difference.
“One thing that helped me get to know people and connect to UofSC was joining student organizations and getting involved,” he says.
He recalls that talking with other students, though challenging for him as a self-professed introvert, helped him get out of his comfort zone. From serving as an orientation leader helping new international students prepare for their first semester, to serving in a leadership role in various clubs and organizations, he’s found his place at South Carolina.
“All of my experiences have generated a big network across many different areas of the university. I’m improving my professional development skills, building my resume and getting to know lots of wonderful people along the way.”
It’s not all hard work, though. As someone who grew up playing sports, Andre enjoys attending South Carolina sporting events. Because sports are part of the university’s culture, attending these also helped him feel part of the community.
“I try to attend as many of the games as I can, especially basketball, volleyball and football. I think they’re a really great way to connect with other students.”
Making the most of it
Andre is preparing for a biomedical engineering career and hopes to either pursue research and development with a start-up after graduation, or work as a project engineer. He’s most interested in polymer science, automation, prosthetics and anything 3D related.
“South Carolina might seem like a huge university in size, but if you are really passionate about standing out from the crowd, becoming the best version of yourself and taking advantage of the opportunities offered, I believe you will find it’s an amazing fit for you.”
I am South Carolina.