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Friends of the Founder: Installment One, Jason Dennis

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

For this blog post, I decided to interview Jason Dennis, one of my closest friends and a trailblazer within the field of biomedical research. Jason is one of many student leaders at NC A&T, and for the purpose of this and the next few blog posts, I'll be introducing readers of D.I.A.S. to people that "make things happen". In the format of easy to read transcribed interviews, these posts will be a way for you all to learn more about some of the people that inspire me to continuously aim for the stars.

Without further ado, read on to learn more about Jason!

Jason Dennis is a rising Senior Biology Student at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Ultimately, Jason intends to become a Biomedical Researcher or Physician.

1. Hey Jason! Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed for my blog. To get started, what’s your biggest motivation right now?

My biggest motivation right now is my desire to want a better life for myself and those around me. I have had a lot of people in my life that have played influential roles and want only the best for me. My desire to want to live up to their expectations and make them proud pushes me to continue on my path.

2. What do you wish your younger self knew about your current profession?

The field of medicine is a long and difficult one, and not everyone has the same path but we are all striving for the same end goal. I wish my younger self knew to try to control when and how things happens less and to just go along with life.

3. What are you a part of on campus (list what you’re involved in)?

I'm Vice President of the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., an Undergraduate Researcher/ MARC Scholar, SGA Senior Class Vice President, an Honors Program Ambassador, a Healthy Brother Healthy Sister Peer Facilitator, and the Social Media Chair for the Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) and the Global Medical Brigade (GMB).

4. How do you balance life and being so involved on campus?

Planning, planning, planning. Google Calendar is my best friend. Having all of the major activities that I have planned on one platform allows me to keep track of all my responsibilities. I also have written down “To Do” lists for my daily and weekly tasks.

5. In what ways do you feel like you’re a student leader?

I feel as though I am a student leader because of my involvement in both on and off-campus activities. I consider a person a leader when they are able to take charge and involve themselves in circumstances and situations that align with their values, and work hard to progress within that circumstance/situation. I strive to be that person in every circumstance that I involve myself in.

6. Brag on yourself! What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?

My current accomplishment that I cherish the most is my recent trip to Ghana for the Global Medical Brigade. I was able to travel with 28 other peers and health professionals to treat and educate safe health practices to over 300+ Ghanaian patients ranging from young infants to individuals over a century old. During this trip I was able to form amazing relationships with my fellow brigaders and gained amazing medical insight from current health professionals.

7. What’s one thing that you wish you had known when you began your career?

I don’t believe that I have begun my career yet so I cannot answer this question properly, but one thing that I wish I knew earlier is that you cannot rush the process. Take the time to soak in every opportunity you get because time flies by quickly.

8. What is your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

I learned to never consider anything in my life to be failure, but rather a learning experience. I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. One of my most recent “learning experiences” was my first Practice MCAT exam. While this was my first time taking the practice exam, I was disappointed by my baseline score. However, I took the opportunity to see what areas I needed to work on to improve my score.

9. What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?

I like to consider myself primarily as a visual learner, and because of that I have to see something done before I can truly understand it. Youtube videos have been a great resource for me in my academic career. There are vast amounts of videos that can help in just about any topic taught in school (and life). A simple search is all that is needed.

10. Who are the three people who have been the most influential to you?

The three people who have been the most influential to me are my academic/professional mentor Dr. Raymond Samuel, Correggio Peagler, a good friend and personal mentor, and my family (who I count as one). These individuals play pivotal roles in both my personal and professional life.

11. What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your role/business/project right now and how are you tackling it?

My biggest challenge right now is studying for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), which is an 8+ hr exam that will essentially determine how my medical school admissions journey will begin. I tackle this challenge everyday through intense studying and preparation for this exam, as I want to understand the concepts that will be on the exam and apply those concepts into real world situations.

12. What occupation (other than your own) would you like to try?

I have always had an eye for the visual arts. I also have goals to dive further into my talents as an artist.

13. Thank you! Lastly, what advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?

Don’t give up. As mentioned before, the field of medicine is not an easy path to endure. There are times when you will find yourself overwhelmed, stressed out, alone, and just wanting to give up on yourself. It's important to remember that the benefits that you will reap will outweigh the time and effort you put into your goals. Form a close circle of supportive people who have your best interest at heart, for they will be the ones who continue to push you when you feel low. Ultimately, you are your biggest critic and supporter. Keep reminding yourself to persevere and everything else will fall into place.

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