• Graduation Year: 2024

Nikhil imgMajors: Biological Sciences and Philosophy

How did you decide on your major?

Many of my friends would say that my dissecting a cow’s heart in high school was my indicator for pursuing a career in science. However, I have long been fascinated to understand the workings of the human brain and behavior. I knew I would be majoring in Biological Sciences and coming into the Honors program at Rutgers University. As a comprehensive and flexible major, I was able to pursue various fields of science, explore known interests, and make connections between what I had learned and my current education.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

As I plan to pursue an MD, I am particularly fascinated by solving complex problems in various ways, interacting with patients, and making connections between different sets of information. I have always been intrigued by the inner workings of the human body and have been exposed to observing many conditions people suffer from and how they impede their daily lives. I aim to relieve people from these ailments and provide underserved populations with affordable and reliable care.

Do you have favorite class/professor within your major?

My favorite class was Integrative Physiology, taught by Dr. Nicholas Bello. I have always loved learning about the human body and its complexities, but he taught the topics with a new perspective. He would always connect to his personal experiences or movies that he had watched, making the material more relatable and enjoyable. My fascination for learning about the human body continues to excite me as I plan to pursue a medical career.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

One of my favorite experiences is being a TA for two semesters of the Honors General Chemistry class. I truly enjoyed teaching other students and helping them to achieve their goals. I shared my experiences and advice about my path, which also helped motivate them. Teaching other students brings me a sense of gratification and is something I would like to continue to be a part of.

I also pursued a study abroad in Greece, which I completed in my junior year. There, I explored a new country and culture, learning about the benefits of a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle. I was able to help the local communities through volunteering and talking to various types of people. This was an enriching experience, and I have learned much outside the classroom.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am a current member of the AMSA club and a current DLS Ambassador, which aims to help prospective students interested in the Life Sciences during their time at Rutgers (Reach out to us if you have any questions, too!). I am also a research assistant in Dr. Gleb  Shumyatsky's Lab, where I study molecular and genetic mechanisms relevant to social behaviors in mice. I have also pursued a job at RWJ as a phlebotomist for the past year. Aside from academics, I have long been a competitive swimmer and now have transitioned into teaching younger kids to swim.

What are your plans following graduation?

I plan to apply to medical school in June 2024 and pursue a gap-year opportunity, including clinical research at the National Institutes of Health or volunteering as part of the AmeriCorps organization. I will continue my job as a swim instructor to help teach kids how to swim.

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