Sisters at UCLA: Natalie and Tatiana Bouri’s Journey from Dublin High School to the City of Angels
DUBLIN, CA–OneDublin.org sat down with Dublin High School Class of ’13 and Class of ’15 commencement alumni Natalie and Tatiana Bouri on their experiences attending UCLA together. This upcoming quarter, Natalie will be beginning her fourth and final year at UCLA, and Tatiana will begin her second. Here is what they have to say about their time at UCLA so far:
OneDublin.org: What led you to choose UCLA and what are you studying there?
Natalie Bouri: “Coming out of high school, I knew I was interested in biology and the health field. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do specifically in college other than be a pre-med student, but I was already attracted to UCLA because of the medical center there and how invested they are in health field research. I also had visited UCLA a few years before and had fallen in love with the campus and I thought it would be a really good place to try something new.”
Tatiana Bouri: “I am studying business economics at UCLA and I am considering minoring in entrepreneurship or pursuing a double major in commerce. UCLA initially attracted me because of how incredible and positive the environment is there. UCLA has so many clubs and activities and being in LA for business is really good. UCLA is close to many internships and opportunities to get involved.”
OneDublin.org: How has Dublin High School prepared you for your time at UCLA?
Natalie: “My AP classes, specifically AP Biology, at Dublin High School definitely helped prepare me for college. Because I took AP Biology, I realized how much I love biology and that I wanted to study that field in my undergraduate degree. My AP classes helped me narrow down what type of career I wanted to pursue.”
Tatiana: “Dublin High really taught me to reach out and try different activities. By getting involved in leadership and athletics while I was in high school, I learned how important it is to put yourself out there. Being comfortable putting yourself out there is especially important once you get to college.”
OneDublin.org: How have you grown throughout your time at UCLA?
Natalie: “I’ve definitely become more comfortable in my own skin and more confident in the sense that I have a better understanding of what I’m interested in. I’ve also become so much more independent and responsible. I hold myself more accountable for things such as not procrastinating and being on time. I’ve become more mature because I’ve had to evolve in all the activities that I’ve done at UCLA.”
Tatiana: “Joining clubs at UCLA has really helped me grow during my Freshman year here. Yes, getting good grades in college is important, but especially in a business career, it is all about networking. There is only so much that an economics textbook can teach you. Deciding to join clubs at UCLA has really given me the hands-on experience I need to be successful in business and has opened me up to real-life situations that you can’t get in the classroom.”
OneDublin.org: What have you been involved in while at UCLA?
Natalie: “During school, I am a research assistant at the California NanoSystems Institute, specifically in the nano-medicine department. I also intern with a Public Health Organization at UCLA that mentors and educates underprivileged youth in LA and completes field research on different ways to develop targeted health curriculums for youths and populations that don’t have access to certain resources. In addition, I am a volunteer at the UCLA Medical Center and I am heavily involved in the Lebanese cultural club on campus that has been a great way to make ties to people who relate to me more.”
Tatiana: “So far in my first year, I have joined the sorority Kappa Alpha ThetaKappa Alpha Theta and I also joined the Bruin Asset Management club. My sorority has really helped me reach out to other people and has encouraged me to try out for clubs. With Bruin Asset Management, which is an investment banking organization, I am a junior analyst. Our club makes portfolios, and deals with stocks, companies, and investment as if it was a real life business situation. Bruin Asset Management has definitely given me an aspect of business that I haven’t gotten through my classes yet.”
OneDublin.org: What is your favorite part about going to UCLA?
Natalie: “UCLA is very unique in that it is one of the only schools that has everything – there is such a balance. UCLA is super strong in academics, but the people you talk to are all sociable and personable. People study hard and play hard. It is fun having a culture where people want to study together and are so serious about their future and career, but they also want to go to the beach and there are so many opportunities to do both.”
Tatiana: “UCLA is filled with a bunch of really smart energetic people. I don’t think you will ever find a university where people are so proud of where they go and who are so excited to be where they are. There is such devotion to the school. During orientation week, there are Bruin Ties where you dip your hand into the fountain and promise to study hard, and party a little harder. UCLA has a very intellectual crowd – you are going out and making memories with the same people you are staying up until 4 am studying with. You never feel like you are missing out because everyone is working hard just like you.”
OneDublin.org: What is it like going to university with your sibling?
Tatiana: “Having my sister at UCLA is something I appreciate so much. At first, there was a little concern that we were going to overlap and that we were not going to have our own experiences, but being in our two different majors, we have our two own separate lives and it is awesome to see each other thrive in our own separate space. At the same time, if I ever need help, don’t know what class to take, or just want company, Natalie is always there.”
Natalie: “It has been a lot of fun having my sister with me at UCLA. It is weird, but I actually don’t see her as much as you think I would. We both are always so busy with the 3,000 things we do, but it is nice that when I’m stressed out and don’t want to study alone that I am able to hit up my sister. It is comforting to have her there because I can get homesick at times and it is nice to know that she is always there.”
OneDublin.org: Is there any advice you would give someone who is about to attend college?
Tatiana: “Meet as many people as you possibly can. Every day during first quarter I was introducing myself to someone. Apply to as many things as you can as well. Don’t get disheartened or feel too small even if you don’t get into everything that you wanted to, because you can make it. Competition will help you grow.”
Natalie: “Make sure you set goals for yourself for every single term or semester, especially if you are going to a really big school because it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Networking is also so important! I realized that a little late in the game and I’ve gotten better, but my first year I wasn’t networking enough. Introduce yourself to your professors and go to office hours. In four or five years, you may need your professors and they can truly help you in your career. Don’t be afraid to do different things to see what your likes and dislikes are. It is literally your job to find out what you want to do in university. This is the perfect time to try everything.”