Perspective of a Mom and 1st year PhD student

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My path to Graduate school is probably not as straightforward as the typical student. Six years ago I never would have conceived that obtaining my PhD was even a remote possibility. At that point in my life, I had just graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Masters in Immunology and was content to pursue a career as a Research Associate either in Academia or Industry. However, I first wanted to start a family so over the course of just four years, I had my wonderful three little boys and embraced my new role as “Mom”. During this time, I obtained a position as a Research Assistant here at the University of Connecticut Health Center and for three years I was able to contribute to projects in the lab where I gained valuable experience in cell culture, grant writing and manuscript preparation. As a result of my accomplishments and enthusiasm for research, my Principle Investigator suggested I continue my Graduate career as a PhD student and recommended that I enroll in the Biomedical Sciences program here at UCHC. For the first time I actually considered the possibility of obtaining my PhD as something tangible and within my reach. The three years of experience I obtained while working in the lab helped significantly with my confidence and made me realize that this was the career choice I wanted to pursue. Not only had I fostered a passion for research, but I’d also found a wonderful lab to work in that made me realize how important this field was and how what I did could have real implications in the medical/scientific field. So even though my pathway to this point in life has not been straightforward, I am happy that all my previous experiences have brought me to this point in my career. There have been many twists and turns along the way, filled with doubts and questions, but so far I am happy to be part of a program that challenges me daily and helps me be the best version of myself. Now, not only am I a Mom, but I also get this awesome opportunity to be a Graduate student as well. Some days may be difficult or down right challenging, but I’m excited for the path this journey will take me. 

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