BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Race/Ethnicity: South Asian/Indian
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public high school in East Brunswick, New Jersey with a graduating class of 750 students.
Extracurricular Activities: Worked at the tutoring center, worked in a residence hall, I was in the undergraduate student government the first two years I was there, I’ve done research with the Public Health school
Did any of your extracurricular activities have an especially big impact on your experience?
It’s nice being able to work a job during college on campus. It was super convenient to go to work and I also got to meet a bunch of new people and make a bunch of connections. Then working on the undergraduate student government my first two years was pretty cool. I got to see a lot of policies get passed through and that was also a great way to meet people within the Tulane administration as well as my peers.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
One of the things that Tulane does well is they allow you to declare your major at the end of your second year. They run you through the core curriculum in the first two years. Once you finish that a lot of my classes this past year and next year are going to be upper-level neuroscience classes and a lot of them are cross-registered with graduate courses, so if I want to do a Master’s in Neuroscience it’s a 4+1 program. Those credits that I’ve already completed will go towards my Master’s, so I can complete in one year versus two.
Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
There’s a great support network. I need letters of recommendation to apply to dental school, and I’ll have no problem asking any of my neuroscience teachers for them because they’re always willing to help me and I don’t doubt that they would write a great letter for me.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I guess it’s a mix of both. I think competition is healthy and that it’s necessary to make sure that you are doing your best. In terms of collaboration, I’ve never really studied for a test by myself. People are always there to help me figure out any academic or personal things I need to figure out. Nobody’s hiding study guide or hiding notes, people are willing to share and make sure that all of us can do as well as possible because at the end of the day, even if we are competing against each other it’s such a small part of the pool.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Music and the Brain. I’ve played an instrument for 11 or 12 years now, so it’s great that I can combine music and neuroscience.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
I tried to do business when I started Tulane. I took macroeconomics and figure out it wasn’t for me.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Butler Hall with one roommate
Sophomore & Junior: Aron Residences on campus with four roommates but we each had our own room
Senior: Off campus
Can you describe the level of safety you experienced on and around campus?
On campus is super safe. You can walk around wherever you want whatever time of the day.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Audobon Park, it’s right across from Tulane so it’s convenient.
Pros and Cons of being in New Orleans, LA?
Pros: (1) There’s always something going on. There’s a lot of downtime right after tests so during those time it’s super convenient to always have something going on. There’s always something going on in the French Quarter or Uptown.
(2) The people in the south are always willing to help you. They’re super polite and very hospitable and friendly. They always greet you with a smile and you feel welcome even if you’re not really from there. It leaves you in a happier mood.
(3) The weather’s awesome.
Cons: Having so much to do can be a con because everybody’s tests don’t line up. So, like if my friends and I decide to do something one weekend and one of them can’t do anything they feel left out, so they might make a bad decision and come and then have that affect their academic performance. I don’t think there are many cons to living in New Orleans.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
My freshman and sophomore year I took a lot of time to explore the city of New Orleans. New Orleans was rated one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. I took a lot of time to explore the city’s history, so Jackson Square and there’s a World War II Museum. Another thing I went out of my way to see was the areas that are still devastated from [Hurricane] Katrina. There’s still a lot of those and I guess I felt fortunate going back to those areas and looking at what happened to their communities versus what I’m fortunate to go home to.
What have been some of your favorite times at Tulane?
My sophomore year I accidentally stayed back at Tulane just because I forgot to book my flight home to New Jersey. So, a couple of friends and I took advantage of the situation and were able to go on a swamp tour which was super cool because I’ve never seen an alligator before and it’s nice seeing the swamp.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met most of them because we lived in the same residence hall my freshman year, and surprisingly enough I’ve stayed friends with them to this day. We’ve gone on trips together. We’ve spent a lot of time together.
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Oh, yeah 100% There are people from everywhere, even though it’s a predominantly people from the northeast. I don’t think there are any prejudices. I really don’t see that. [About 31% of students come from the Northeast.]
What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
I think it contributes to social life. I think Greek organizations in general have been put in a really bad light recently and I think a lot of those problems are mostly individual issues, and I don’t think it’s an issue of Greek life as a whole. I don’t think the system should be blamed for a couple of individual actions. I definitely think that it contributes to social life and I think it actually has a great presence on campus.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
There are certain weeks where the majority of students have tests. Following those weeks, the social life picks up. A lot of people are going out, a lot of people are doing their own thing. But when it does come down to studying right before those weeks, you can always find the library’s packed. Kids manage their time really well at Tulane.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Tulane by senior year?
Yeah, I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t love Tulane. There’s a lot of involvement opportunities if you can’t seem to find your niche. But once you do, it’s a great school and there are a lot of great opportunities.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Yeah, I’m still applying to dental school but the alumni have helped me a lot by reaching out to their former classmates or helping me personally with my personal statement, my interviews, and getting me in the door, getting my name on certain lists and just making sure that I’m as successful as I can be.
Have you used the career office much?
Yeah, they’ve been super helpful with everything non-dental specific. So, preparing for interviews, preparing my cover letters, preparing my personal statements. They’ve been helpful with giving me career options if I don’t get into dental school.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something that you wish you knew about Tulane before entering as a freshman?
One of the main things I would emphasize to freshman is that a lot of the services that Tulane offers aren’t really well advertised. A lot of services are available at Tulane but they’re just not advertised to the extent that it is at other schools. Nothing’s going to be handed to you, you always have to go find your own way.
What is something a student interested in medical school or dental school should know that we haven’t touched on?
I’ve taken the MCAT and the dental exam and I’ve been fine on most of the sections just from taking the rigorous classes at Tulane.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I think it can be difficult to see how professors interact with students on a visit. But in every class I’ve had, as long you are going to class and engaged in class, they are always willing to help and willing to try and help you get as close to an A as possible. They’re always there for you and trying to help you succeed.
Reasons to attend Tulane:
1) New Orleans. It’s always warm, everyone’s nice and there’s a lot of things to do.
2) Tulane has a very strong alumni network. If you’re ever struggling to find a job or struggling to figure out what you can do, not only is the career center helpful, the alumni can try and guide you in the right direction to either figuring out what you want to do or finding a job or internship in the area that you please.
3) I think they do a great job making sure that there are a wide variety of classes available. I’ve taken architecture classes, music classes, and also neuroscience classes. There’s a lot of classes available.
4) Tulane has a lot of 4+1 programs where you can get your master’s degree in one year. If you’re interested in getting your master’s and know what you want to do, you can save time and money getting it.
Reasons to not attend Tulane:
If you’re someone who isn’t used to doing things for yourself, [don’t come to Tulane]. One of the reasons I was able to find all the research I did was because I went to a large high school, so it was expected of me that nothing was going to be told to me. It does take a lot of self-accountability and responsibility.