Zichen Liu | Chemistry 

From: Bay Area, CA; Current: Seattle, WA

Pomona Days: Class of 2018 | Chemistry

Current Employment: Data Analyst @ Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation


My academic activities as an undergraduate included the following: computer programming, computational chemistry, community health, and AAPI activism. Pomona College gave me incredible freedom to explore, but often the freedom caused anxiety. With this chaotic spread of interests, I felt inadequate on all sides: maybe I wasn’t hardcore enough for hardcore science; maybe I wasn’t social enough for social work.

I was ready to compromise parts of myself for a career, but I didn’t have to. Through talking to alumni friends, I heard about IHME, a non-profit research institute leading the development of data science methods for global health. As a data analyst here, I use my quantitative skills to aid the humanitarian causes I care about most.

Multi-faceted students who feel out of place like I did are necessary in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. I was lucky to know alumni who introduced to me a path where I didn’t need to change myself to take. I hope to continue the cycle and encourage more students to find these unique paths!

I would love to talk to you about non-pre-med-pre-health options, data science, non-profit tech, health equity, my love for the Asian American Resource Center, classical music, cultural competency, being a woman in STEM, and competitive video gaming!