How does your Mayo Graduate School education compare with previous education that you have received at other institutions?
My education at Mayo Graduate School has been similar to that of my undergraduate institution, only with more focus and better facilities. It's incredibly more focused along the lines of research I wish to pursue, and far more focused on lab work than course work. There are a lot of really unique aspects of the graduate school, one of most appealing being the funding model: Mayo Graduate School pays your tuition and stipend, so your ability to join a lab is independent of its funding status.
What opportunities have you been introduced to since being at Mayo Graduate School?
I have been introduced to lab techniques in research from basic science to preclinical and clinical science. I have also been exposed to some of the inner workings of translating research from bench to bedside, and even was involved in conference calls about clinical trial funding with drug companies. I'm sure many more collaboration opportunities will present themselves as my research progresses.
Why did you choose Mayo Graduate School?
After I interviewed I thought the research was exactly what I wanted. There's a high clinical focus, the facilities are incredible and the projects fit my interests. At the time, the only thing I thought wasn't perfect was Rochester, Minn., which I have now been pleasantly surprised by.
How would you describe the atmosphere of Mayo Clinic?
The atmosphere at Mayo Clinic is very uniquely patient-focused, which is seen in both clinical and research settings. The gap between lab research and patient care is incredibly narrow. The physicians want to know what's going on in the lab. Many of them engage in lab work of their own and are very eager to help translate that research to the clinic. It makes the science I'm doing in the lab feel all the more relevant to curing diseases.
What are your plans for the future?
My future plans are still somewhat uncertain. I'm very interested in research closer to being translated to the clinic, so I would like to move toward that focus in the future.
If you could describe Mayo Clinic in one word, what would it be?
With what activities are you involved in Rochester?
I play on two volleyball teams and one soccer team through Rochester Parks and Rec. I'm also rather active in the Graduate Student Association and in other student-focused activities.
How does Rochester differ from your hometown? College community?
Rochester has quite a different feel from where I grew up and went to school. It definitely has more of a small-town feel than what I'm used to, and I'm constantly running into people I know. What I have really come to enjoy is the variety of festivals and fairs going on in the downtown Rochester area, which really gives a strong community feel.