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Meet Aamina Usmani

From a young age, biomanufacturing student Aamina Usmani was captivated by the world of science.

Her aunt, a dedicated doctor, would share stories of her medical adventures with her extended family, and Aamina couldn’t help but be inspired.

Shared Aamina, “I was young, but I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps.”

However, Aamina's journey was not without its challenges, and it was only when she found her way to MiraCosta College that her dreams began to flourish.

Aamina's path initially led her to Fullerton College as a microbiology and premed student. But the environment wasn’t conducive to Aamina’s needs. While in school, Aamina was caring for sick family members, all while trying to complete a host of coursework at night. This often meant riding the bus late at night, which wasn’t the most comforting situation for an 18-year-old. After a while, the situation was just untenable and Aamina struggled in the classroom.

After failing a chemistry class, Aamina attended a science club where she was introduced to micropipetting and decided to give it a try. Aamina enrolled in an introductory biotechnology class at Fullerton College and was later introduced to MiraCosta's biomanufacturing program by the professor.

The program piqued her interest so much that Aamina decided to make a change.

Realizing that the current higher education atmosphere may not offer the best support that fit Aamina’s needs, she enrolled in MiraCosta College to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“These classes were an entirely different world from what I was seeing in chemistry class,” said Aamina. “We were provided with proper PPE at Fullerton College and MiraCosta College where professors from both colleges taught us lab techniques that we got to practice each week.”

As Aamina described, that’s when everything changed.

MiraCosta College offered Aamina something she had yearned for: extensive hands-on experience. While students at other colleges paid more and received less practical training, Aamina found herself immersed in a supportive community.

Aamina was introduced to the MiraCosta College biomanufacturing program and soon started to see a future for herself in the local biotech industry. She became the Vice President of the MiraCosta College chapter of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), honing not only her technical skills but also her social abilities. She also received scholarship support, further easing the financial burden of higher education and allowing Aamina to prioritize her studies.

The college's commitment to her success was evident, and Aamina thrived in this nurturing environment.

What truly set MiraCosta College apart were the industry connections. Aamina discovered that she was receiving better training and mentorship than her friends at four-year universities. Mentors from prestigious companies like Gilead and CEOs of startup firms actively participated in her educational journey, providing insights and guidance that extended beyond the classroom.

“I knew I was in the right place,” explained Aamina.

Today, Aamina is closing in on her degree and already has her eyes set on the next chapter. After she graduates in spring 2024, Aamina hopes to work at a local biotech company while pursuing grad school, and maybe even med school down the line.

“I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for the MiraCosta College professors and staff”shared Aamina. 

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