Best advice from parents: "Don't let anything or anyone stand in the way of reaching your goals. My parents are from Haiti, and being a first-generation American, this advice carries a lot of weight in my life because of the countless sacrifices my parents made that enable me to be where I am today."
Grateful for: "The love and support that I continuously get from my friends and family"
Emma is a fifth-year Ph.D. student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She completed Mayo Clinic's postbaccalaureate research program for minority students in 2003.
Did the program benefit your journey as a researcher?
"Definitely. I applied to graduate school during my last year at school in Richmond, and I didn't get into the school of my choice, so the opportunity to do research and take classes to enhance my application for when I reapplied was important to me. The program exposed me to the life of a graduate student. In addition to working in a lab and taking graduate-level courses, we had weekly meetings in which important aspects of the graduate school application process were reinforced. I also attended a number of scientific conferences and was given many opportunities to present my research."
What surprised you most about Mayo Clinic?
"Honestly, I didn't know too much about Mayo Clinic before I started the program. I was surprised at how readily available my professors/mentors were. The caliber of research was very impressive, and even though I was at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, I felt like I mattered."
What do you remember about your mentors at Mayo?
"What I appreciated most about my mentors is that they understood there was more to me than my academic pursuits and there were other life factors that had to be considered as I was making the important decision of where I wanted to attend grad school. They were genuinely concerned about my overall well-being and making sure that I was happy."