College: Cornell University (transferred from Hunter College)
Since immigrating to the United States a decade ago, my family was forced to make several adjustments to their standard of living. In Bangladesh, my parents were comfortably situated in the upper middle class. My father worked in an administrative position for Merck, while my mother stayed at home with the children. Upon coming to New York, however, they found that they were only offered odd jobs, as most of the employment they sought required a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. As a result, both of my parents worked overtime for barely minimum wage in order to support our family.
Seeing my parents struggle compelled me to do as well as I could in school. Whenever I caught my mother looking enviously at my English literature books, I remembered that learning English was a luxury for many in my home country. I had the chance that my parents never had to pursue higher education in as many subjects as I could explore. When I reached high school, many of my peers were born into wealthy families. It was difficult explaining to them how I could not afford to take vacations out of the country or why I didn’t have a car. Nonetheless, I made sure to show others that I was a perpetually curious, passionate person whose family situation did not define me in the least. I made sure to do my best at every turn in both school and life, and I will continue to do so by working on the business side of healthcare.
I found the science classes I took in high school to be particularly engaging, especially those in the life sciences. Although the material was difficult, I was intrigued by the study of biology. After sitting in on research presentations at NYU and Columbia, I realized that I wanted to someday take the position of the lecturers and run my own research lab. NYNY is equipping me with the tools to attain this goal.
My interests, however, are not limited to the life sciences. Through interactions with Mentor Coaches, NYNY has opened up new career possibilities that I would have never thought to explore before. I had always been intent on doing something in the hard sciences, but the staff and Mentor Coaches, as well as the other Fellows, have shown me that finance is an interesting field as well. Speaking with professionals who work in hedge funds and investment banks has given me a sense of the excitement of watching the markets and making important, but risky trades. I now know how unlimited my options are.