Student Perspective: Wee Siong Sho Goh
Graduating Class of 2015
Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania
I was convinced to join the Watson School after hearing what one professor had to say: When the school's committee designed their program, they made sure to eliminate all the aspects of graduate school that they hated when they were going through it. These were things like studying for classes while doing rotations or running experiments with the added burden of preparing for qualifiers. My peers from other school are still amazed to hear that I was done with all my classes, rotations and qualifiers within the first year. Despite encouraging their students to graduate in a short period of 4 years, Watson School graduates manage to maintain an impressive track record of publications. This is a testament to the quality of the school's program.
During spring and summer, there are weekly meetings where leading experts in various fields gather to present their latest findings. The topics in these meetings range from personal genomes and genetic therapy to neuroscience and immunology. As Watson students, we have the privilege of attending any of these meetings for free. It is an added bonus that these meetings are walking distance from our bench experiments.
The beach volleyball courts, where the annual summer beach volleyball tournament is held, is also walking distance from the beach. These volleyball games make for a good excuse to relax and let loose after a long day at the bench. However, the best part of the school's location is its proximity to New York City. Famous Broadway musicals and sports tournaments are literally a train ride away.
There is really no other research environment like the Watson School. This is such a small and close-knit community where students are on equal standing with post-doctoral fellows and professors when discussing science. I don't know of any other graduate school where students are on a first name basis with all their professors. In fact, it is not uncommon for some our meetings with professors to take place in the casual environment of our campus bar.