November 2022 - BME Blaze: Carly Rivera

Nov 01 2022

In this monthly spotlight, get to know the alumni, students, and scientists of Columbia's Department of Biomedical Engineering. Read what our BME folks are up to, from our labs' latest research to our students' plans for the future, to our teams' innovations, start-ups, and other career successes.

We loved catching up with Columbia BME senior ('23) Carly Rivera, as she told us about her experience at Columbia BME and her exciting plans to change the world.⁣ Read below to get to know Carly!


Carly Rivera


  • B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Class of 2023, Columbia University


Where are you from?

Arlington, VA


What drew you to the field of Biomedical Engineering?

My sister is a chemical engineer. I always found engineering to be very interesting, but I am also very interested in medicine. This major allowed me to get the best of both worlds.


What is your current role?

I am currently going into my senior year at Columbia and I am also a member of the women’s basketball team. I work as an undergrad at The Greene Lab at CUIMC.


Why did you choose Columbia BME?

I chose Columbia BME because I know it is one of the top programs in the country and will prepare me for life after college. The BME faculty are also amazing and are very supportive in helping you learn as much as possible and also provide fun opportunities outside of the classroom to feel immersed in the program. Between the rigorous education and the connections, I have made in the program, I know that I made the right choice.


What are some of your favorite projects/memories from the program so far? 

Some of my favorite memories have been working on lab reports with my lab group. We would just spend time in a classroom and work on the reports throughout the weekend. It really helped me get out of my shell and meet new people, while also getting a deeper understanding of the work we were doing in the classroom.


What was your proudest moment at Columbia so far?

Making Dean’s List and Academic All-Ivy in my first semester in SEAS as a BME. I was nervous about coming back to school after the pandemic and playing basketball while trying to be an engineer. I worked very hard in my first semester and was able to not only make Dean’s List but also make Academic-All Ivy for Ivy League Women’s Basketball.


How has your experience with Columbia BME contributed towards your goals?

I want to attend medical school after college so studying BME has given me a completely different experience than just the regular pre-med track. I feel like I have a greater knowledge of areas outside of the track that I know will prove useful going forward in the next few years when applying to medical schools. I have also gotten to meet people on the same path as me who I have been able to connect with and get advice from.


Any words of wisdom or tips for prospective BME students?

My biggest tip is to definitely get to know your classmates and your teachers. I have made so many good friends who have helped me and understand how difficult it can be to be a BME at Columbia. The faculty is also amazing and really wants to help us succeed while making sure we are grasping the concepts we will need in the future. Being a BME is the best, no matter how hard it is. I would not change it for the world.


What are you excited about?

I am looking forward to senior design. I got a chance to attend the Expo this year and it made me really excited to start designing a project of my own. I am not sure what I want to work on yet, but I can’t wait to get started.


Columbia BME Academics

I chose Columbia BME because I know it is one of the top programs in the country and will prepare me for life after college.

Carly Rivera
BS '23; Senior Year Undergraduate Student at Columbia BME

"I was Academic All-Ivy for Ivy League Women's Basketball this year."


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