Name: Alyssa K.
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Anticipated Majors: ChemBE with a minor in either entrepreneurship or computer science
How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply? I first heard about Hopkins in my freshman year of high school, when I told one of my close friends that I was thinking about being a dermatologist. She told me, “If you want to study medicine, or science for that matter, Johns Hopkins is the absolute best school there is”. Reflexively, I Googled the school and instantly set my sights upon it. It seemed like one of those too-good-to-be-true places, where there’s access to everything you could possibly need to be a successful scientist, and people genuinely love what they’re doing. I was in a place where I missed being excited about learning, and Hopkins felt like the solution.
What are you most excited to do in Baltimore? I’m most excited to go riding in those dragon boats down at Inner Harbor, then maybe catch a night game at Camden Yards, and try all kinds of street food with friends!
What do you hope to get involved in on campus? I hope to do research on coral bleaching; it’s oddly specific, but it would be a dream to work out in the field on a coral nursery. Outside of that, I’m really excited about joining the equestrian team. I rode for a few years when I was younger, and have been wanting to get back to it ever since I stopped. The FastForward U space is also something I would like to be involved with, because I think entrepreneurship is such an exciting venture, and something I might want to try out myself one day.
What’s your best piece of college search advice for high school students? Be honest with yourself. Don’t throw yourself at a school because you think it will impress other people or meet anyone else’s expectations for you. Make a list of everything that is important to you in an academic setting, along with everything you need to be happy. Make those things your priority and you will do great wherever you wind up.
What crazy invention would you love to design? If I could, I would invent a magnet that pulls all of the plastic out of the ocean. I know this doesn’t really make sense, but maybe one day it will. Ocean conservancy is something that became a big part of my life in recent years, and I think it’ll always be something that I fight for in some capacity.
What fictional character do you most relate to or most closely represents you as a person? I feel like Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation represents me pretty well. My friends all know me for how much I throw myself into the things I love, and how dependable I try to be for others. Like Leslie, I’m downright crazy when it comes to being organized, and Belgian waffles smothered in whipped cream will ALWAYS be my breakfast food of choice.
What are you most excited for about college and/or coming to Hopkins? I’m most excited to have a lot more academic freedom! The lack of a core curriculum makes it so easy to explore different fields and learn a little bit of everything. I feel like this flexibility will help me discover new interests, and I can’t wait to see what those are.
If you could get ice cream with one person (real or imaginary; dead or alive), who would it be and what kind of ice cream would you get? I would get ice cream with Rowena Bird. She’s one of the co-founders of Lush Cosmetics. I’m obsessed with Lush, and to have Rowena’s job would be everything that I could want in a career. We would get Ben & Jerry’s, because like Lush, it’s an ethical brand with epic quality. I take my ice cream very seriously, and I imagine Rowena does too.
I would not be here on this journey to Hopkins if it weren’t for: My parents. They’re the backbone of my support system. I’m incredibly lucky to have parents that care as much about my success as they do. I really do feel like every good thing I’ve ever accomplished only happened because they made me believe that I was capable of it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? In 10 years, I see myself as the CEO of my own skincare company. This has been my dream since I was in elementary school, when I started experimenting with kitchen ingredients to make homemade soaps and scrubs. I want to create something that reaches a lot of people, and founding a brand in a field that I care a lot about seems like an awesome way to do so. I would have a killer collection of pantsuits by then, and my office would have a dog bed in it, because obviously my pup would come to work with me everyday. In my spare time, I would hope to run workshops for younger girls in my community to introduce them to STEM and being a woman in business. Resources like these really helped me to chart my course, so I’d love to pass on that empowerment.