John is in his third year as a medical student at Northwestern University. He participated in the career development program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona during the summer of 2007.
Did the program help guide your career path?
"The program helped me to realize how much I love the operating room. Previously, I hadn't had much exposure to that aspect of medicine, so the program definitely helped to steer my career towards pursuing surgery. Also, my mentors provided valuable wisdom about how to approach my third year and the application process for my residency."
What are your impressions about Mayo's commitment to diversity?
"Diversity seems to be a priority at Mayo Clinic. It isn't a second-tier component of the organization. It isn't an option. I never once felt like I was brought in as part of obligation to diversity. Instead, I feel like there is a genuine understanding that diversity adds to the excellence of the organization. I was very impressed."
Was there anything that surprised you about Mayo?
"I was surprised by how warm people were. Participating in the program made me feel like I was a part of the Mayo family. And not only that, but people sincerely asked me about my wife and family at home. In a lot of places, family is kept separate from work, but at Mayo Clinic, there seems to be a lot of family involvement. I even met some of my mentors' families at events that were held for us during the program."