Name: Anjali Misra
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Postgraduate Program at UCC (and focus if possible!): Master of Public Health, Advanced Epidemiology
Career Aspirations: Physician
What about this postgraduate experience has been the most rewarding and/or eye-opening for you thus far?
I came to Ireland enthusiastic to explore rural health care, knowing rural health infrastructure is one of the greatest areas for improvement in reducing health disparities. My classroom experience is providing me with the technical skills in epidemiology that I need to transform my interest into a tangible research project. Designing my thesis project to combine my long-standing passion for emergency medical services with my curiosity about survival outcomes in rural areas has been an incredible opportunity to discover how I can combine my past experiences with the perspective I have developed in Ireland. The prospect of applying my research to support the improvement of health infrastructure in my communities in the United States and in Ireland keeps me motivated and excited about the work I’m doing!
What about this postgraduate experience has been the most challenging for you thus far? How did you overcome or how are you working to overcome this challenge?
Discovering where I fit in my new community was a gradual process, and being involved in a wide variety of activities outside of the classroom was crucial in my becoming comfortable living in Ireland. Finding opportunities to explore new interests and meet new people enriches my daily life, and also helped me adjust to my new home far more quickly than I anticipated.
Beyond your postgraduate experience, in what activities, clubs, societies, etc. are you involved?
I spend my time outside of my program taking open classes with UCC Dance, applying my classical violin experience to learning fiddle music, and volunteering with the Irish Red Cross. I explore unfamiliar parts of Ireland whenever given the chance and am currently training for the Cork City Marathon coming up this June!
If you could give future postgraduate students in your program one piece of advice, what would it be?
Actively create the postgraduate experience you are looking for. Many of the most meaningful moments I have experienced this year have occurred outside of the classroom, through unexpected conversations or opportunities that arose because I ventured into the community. In a new environment, even ventures related to the most familiar of your interests can broaden your perspective and worldview.