Where are you from? Why Madison and the Cancer Biology program?
I am from India. I came to the US five years ago for a Master’s degree program. When I was working, I ended applying for graduate school. During my interview weekend, I really liked the rapport between professors and students. The program was very student-oriented, and everyone was here to learn together and not to compete with one another.
What was your favorite place/activity to hang out when you need to de-stress?
One thing I noticed is that there are so many parks around here. After moving to Madison last year in June, I went for runs or walks a lot because there was not much else to do during the pandemic.
You came to Madison during a most unusual time, while the stay-at-home orders were still in place. What was it like trying to decide on and do lab rotations to find a home lab? How did you set those up and what was your experience like?
The thing I struggled with the most was trying to get to know the professors and lab members. I had to arrange online meetings with everyone, and there always was an agenda for the meeting. I missed the part where interactions could have been more spontaneous and natural. Luckily, I really liked my 1st rotation, and I ended up joining that lab.
Any new advice for incoming students, especially under these new circumstances?
Online classes are tough. You have to be super straightforward with the instructors and communicate with them what is working for you and what is not. If you are struggling a lot with rotations or classes, talk with Dan (Loeb) and Elaine (Alarid) [program co-chairs]. They are awesome and would be more than happy to discuss it with you.