Tear Free Chemistry
As a high school student I struggled with chemistry, as many do. Finally, my parents decided to hire a tutor for me. My tutor was a retired high school teacher who knew her subject amazingly well and taught it like nobody else I had met before! This teacher completely changed my way of thinking about science. It was her passion for the subject and her true professionalism that inspired me to become a chemist.
I received my Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2005 from University of California, Santa Cruz. As a graduate student I taught general chemistry, organic chemistry and specialized organic chemistry courses. I also did a lot of one-on-one tutoring. Tutoring was my favorite part. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your student improve over time and knowing that you had something to do with it. I loved that aha moment in my students' eyes when they were starting to understand a difficult concept they had struggled with.
After finishing my Ph.D. I worked as a research scientist for a few startups in Silicon Valley. I enjoyed research and the thrill of a new discovery, but at some point I realized that something was missing from my life. I was doing cutting edge research, but it was never clear what its use would be. Maybe someday somebody would use my discovery to discover something else. No matter what, I wanted a job that would be truly useful now, not someday. Tutoring naturally came to mind and I decided to make it my new career.