Alumnus, PhD (2017) Immunology
The graduate school experience at the University of Toronto is what you make of it. With a vast campus and the many affiliated research and teaching hospitals, the array of knowledge and expertise available to the graduate student is staggering. To succeed, you need to be focused, driven, and self-motivated; that is the nature of working in a fast-paced and competitive environment.
I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia and immigrated to Toronto at the age of six. I pursued my undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto because it was convenient but stayed for my graduate studies because the Department of Immunology offered exceptional research opportunities and interpersonal support.
The most remarkable feature of graduate school has been the scientific and extracurricular support. I have collaborated with other students on research projects, volunteered to teach immunology at high schools across Toronto and started a departmental magazine, all with the unwavering support of fellow students and the department.
Over the years, I have grown to love the process of scientific research and although I have no definitive plans, I hope to stay in research at the industry or academic level.
For students considering graduate school, I would say that it is neither the solution to a problem nor a straight path to success. To succeed as a future researcher, academic, business consultant, teacher, scientific writer, patent lawyer, or anything else, you need to understand what your goals are, plan accordingly, and take advantage of the opportunities and support at a large and varied university.
Also, see Yuriy's article in The Conversation
It may feel like it sometimes, but a PhD is not a waste of time
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