Student Perspective: Niraj Tolia

Graduating Class of 2004

Undergraduate: Imperial College (UK)

Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Fellow

Graduate school is undoubtedly a confusing place. You have to make decisions, often based on limited knowledge, which will directly affect your future. The particular field of biology you wish to specialize in, which lab will best suit and benefit you, and the questions you wish to address in your research are just a few of the issues that have to be dealt with. The School two-tier mentoring program ensures that all students have more than one contact with the faculty, to aid in the decision making process. In addition, these direct contacts break down the traditional barriers between students and faculty.

The School understands that every student is different, each with his or her own strengths, weaknesses, and concerns. The School listens to each student's concerns, both academic and personal, raised by both mentors and students themselves, and attempts to find the best solution for each student.

As I near the end of my doctoral studies, I look back on many moments during which the supportive and mentoring nature of the School helped me achieve my goals as a graduate student.