Organic chem online helps lighten fall course load

headshot of Sindhu Shankar

Over the summer, we’re excited to share stories of students who are making the most of their Summer Term, both in person and online. We hope these stories serve as a source of inspiration and give you a glance into what life is like for Summer Term students.

Sindhu Shankar (she/her/hers) is a junior microbiology and economics major from Wisconsin.

What course or courses are you taking this summer, and how does Summer Term help you meet your academic goals? 

I’m taking CHEM 344 (Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory) online this summer.

This is the second time I’ve taken a summer class while at Madison. In particular, taking the organic chemistry lab this summer will be very helpful in lightening my load for the upcoming fall semester. While doing one class for three hours a day can be a lot, in the long run I think taking labs over the summer is helpful to really understand the material and hopefully achieve a high grade in the class.

What is it like taking an organic chemistry lab online?

Organic chemistry as a course is definitely challenging. For me, classes like chem and some of my econ classes force me to think about a problem in a way that I wouldn’t have before if I want to reach the solution.

I have found that I need to be proactive in voicing my difficulties to the instructors, but when I’ve done so I have always gotten the help I needed. We don’t perform wet labs (labs with chemicals). One of the course instructors (Professor Hill) performs the experiments, records them and we watch these videos.

Tell us about what you hope to learn from your summer course?

I hope to learn the basics of organic chemistry in my lab as this is a topic which will be on the MCAT.

I am planning to take the MCAT early next year. I am not sure what I would like to do my career in medicine. I wanted to do pediatrics for a while since I love working with kids, but then also developed a bit of an interest in eye surgery. I have been told not to make up my mind about this by current physicians as apparently during your early years of medical school almost everyone changes from what they came in wanting to do. I suppose only the future will tell where I end up.

Besides Summer Term, what else are you doing this summer?

Sindhu Shankar, smiling in front of a meadow and mountain scenery in the background
Sindhu Shankar enjoying the outdoors.

I’m also working in the Primate Center on campus and am looking to volunteer at Special Olympics events in the area. I’ve never volunteered with Special Olympics prior to this summer, but I have seen some work done by them online and love that they are promoting the possibility for everyone to be active.

See the Summer Term website for more information on getting ahead and achieving your academic goals with summer courses.

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