As stay-at-home orders and online courses left Kashif Qureshi experiencing a different academic reality in the early stages of the pandemic, he suddenly realized he had a resource he doesn’t often have: time. While focusing on his coursework and staying connected with peers virtually, he also used this extra time to build a new digital tool called GopheResearch. This networking site allows undergraduates to find research opportunities on campus and faculty members the chance to advertise open positions in their labs all on one platform.
“I had been thinking about making something like this for a while,” he says. “I tried building something out during the pandemic and shared it with leadership in CBS. They thought it was great and we now have a good audience that’s using it day in and day out.”
An aspiring neurosurgeon, the biochemistry and computer science major has furthered his desire to learn and explore as an undergraduate, conducting research in three faculty labs, as well as taking part in pre-medical groups and the badminton club. While valuing the science and research side of his studies during his time in CBS, he also sees how building out his social network is important for his career aspirations.
“I think it’s really important because I think when you come to the University it’s not just about academics,” he says. “I really wanted to grow as a person. Getting involved in research or badminton club or Pre-Med club gives you a lot of exposure that’s going to be helpful in the future where you’re going to learn how to communicate with people, which is the most important thing.”
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 edition of BIO, a magazine for College of Biological Sciences alumni, donors and friends.