I knew I wanted a career in medicine
from the age of seven, but didn’t know how I was going to achieve my dream
until I enrolled at the University of North Florida.
I’m originally from India and moved to
the United States with my parents in 2006 when I was 16. We lived in New York
for some time and then moved to Jacksonville so my dad could open his own
business. I attended high school in Jacksonville and applied to four
universities — the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Emory
University and UNF. I was accepted at all four, but chose to attend UNF.
The reason I selected UNF was because I
looked carefully at the student-to-teacher ratio at each university. It was
important for me to know my teachers because that was how I had learned while
growing up in India. UNF is amazing in terms of being an excellent school
academically while still maintaining the one-on-one contact between faculty and
Initially I thought I wanted to go to
medical school. However, I learned another path to my goal was to pursue a
doctorate in clinical psychology. That will allow me eventually to do research
while also establishing a private practice where I can work one-on-one with
Much of the credit for my career path
goes to Dr. Michael Toglia, chair of the Psychology Department. He is not only
my mentor, but is the reason I was able to get a full-time job at the Mayo
Clinic. I started there with a three-month internship, but it was extended for
seven months and became a part-time job as a research assistant in the
Department of Behavioral Neuroscience.
After I graduate, I will work full time
for the Mayo Clinic before entering graduate school. After completing the
five-year program to get my doctorate and becoming a certified therapist, I
would like to work for a hospital for a few years. Eventually I would love to
return to UNF as a professor and perhaps begin an advanced program in
psychology while also maintaining a private practice.
My UNF experience has been
transformational thanks in large part to the Alan C. Ling International
Scholarship. The scholarship allowed me to study in England through the Honors
Program. I was one of 12 students accepted into the class and we studied
British politics visiting London, Glastonbury, Gloucester and Oxford. I’m also
fortunate to have received the Deon and R. Ernest Ferrell Scholarship given to
students studying in health care professions.
has broadened my horizons and made me aware of so many opportunities for
transformational learning. Coming to UNF was the best decision I’ve ever made.