Leaving my home to go work in the Peace Corps in the country of Guinea, I found a sense of fulfillment in my work that I had never had before. I had close encounters with illness during my time there, and I learned from those experiences that medicine needed to be a part of my career. I chose to pursue studies in Columbia's Postbac Premed Program upon returning home to the U.S.
Returning home from the Peace Corps comes with all kinds of challenges, and I would be further tested when my studies at Columbia were interrupted by the pandemic. The time I took away from classes, working in an urgent care clinic on the front lines in healthcare, made for extremely gratifying months for me and as a result, I felt completely confirmed in my decision to pursue a career as a doctor.
What has been your proudest Columbia moment?
My successful work in the linkage program and the following acceptance into the University of Rochester Medical School was the work of many years. Tying together disparate threads into my cohesive story has been equal parts befuddling and amazing. I could never have imagined my undergraduate work or my time in the Peace Corps contributing to what I have ultimately accomplished, and yet these things are instrumental in understanding how I got to where I am today.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I'll be starting medical school in the fall—wish me luck!
What advice would you give to a Columbia student starting their GS journey?
Be sure to lean on the things that brought you here to this stage of your journey. It's important to have perspective on what your bigger picture is; that there was a path for you to walk before you came to Columbia is helpful in seeing that there will be a path for you to walk after you leave.