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Undergraduate institution: Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Before coming to UC, I worked as a lab technician for 3 years. After deciding to pursue a career in science, I chose the University of Cincinnati and specifically, the Molecular and Developmental Biology program for several reasons. Most labs are located within and/or somehow connected to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). CCHMC is perennially a top 3 funded institution by the NIH. The ongoing research I have thus far experienced upon doing my first rotations has confirmed that distinction. Aside from being home to high-quality research, UC has proven to be an environment of collaboration and collegiality. Everyone is willing to help, from senior students to post-docs and more often than not, labs across the hall publish papers together. This is comforting since a graduate student’s first year can be quite daunting.
Diversity is another well-known characteristic of the MDB program at UC. Students hail all the way from South America to East Asia. There is no shortage of social gatherings to acclimate students to CCHMC as well as to Cincinnati in general. Faculty talks are provided to help students in choosing labs in which to rotate. The faculty here are a great resource for information on choosing a lab and what to expect from completion of your PhD at UC.
Finally, Cincinnati is a charming city with a plethora of activities for the typical graduate student. From restaurants to bars to theme parks and shopping malls, Cincinnati offers a broad range of options for weekend fun. Having grown up in New York, it was quite a change of pace. But I can truly say that I am pleased with my transition as well as my choice in graduate institution.
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