Blogs: Fear and Failure

Crafting is engineering, music is math

What I learned from teaching design and engineering to elementary schoolers

Sept 2021
Mechanical Engineering
I am a serial maker: as a child, I dove deep into a new creative obsession each year. With each medium I explored, my passion for making grew, and projects flooded my house: a giant model of the Parthenon made from recyclables graced our front hallway, a crochet stuffed dragon perched in our...

From Procrastination to Productivity

How I Found Motivation in a Remote Semester

July 2021
Linguistics and Philosophy
A few months after receiving the exciting news that I’d been admitted to MIT, I was informed that my semester of grad school would be fully online. Little did I know that it would turn out much worse than I could’ve ever anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, remote learning has many advantages. There is...

Second time’s the charm

Finally at MIT after an undergraduate rejection

June 2021
Nuclear Science and Engineering
I remember driving down Massachusetts Avenue with my mom when I was 16. We were in New England on a family vacation, so she arranged a campus visit at MIT for me since I was trying to decide which colleges I should apply to. It was a beautiful July day. We had a meeting with an undergraduate...

When is the best time to start graduate school?

Pros and cons of fresh-out-of-undergraduate and post-young professional paths

April 2021
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
I’ve technically had two “first days” of graduate school. The first one was in September 2012. Fresh out of undergraduate, I arrived that fall semester at MIT - completely burned out. After graduate school applications and a grueling final senior semester, I was running on fumes. I joined a lab...

Fostering Success

Sometimes the youngest kids can teach the biggest lessons

March 2021
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Over the course of the fall semester, places in the US underwent varying stages of lockdown in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. My hometown had some of the most severe lockdown rules, with all nonessential businesses halted for an extended period of time. But for all the personal...

Packing for MIT: Laptop, Winter Coat, Math Phobia

How I survived MIT classes without a math background - and you can too!

March 2021
Biological Engineering
When I put my pencil down after muddling through the last particularly hairy integration-by-substitution puzzler on the 2013 AB Calculus AP exam, I felt relieved – both that I had survived the exam, and, more fundamentally, that I’d never have to take a calculus class again. Seven years later,...

The Silent 50%

Women and Men Are NOT Equal

Feb 2021
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology
Every year, I look forward to the annual Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Fall Dinner. Not for the free food, open bar or rare opportunity to dress up (although they surely don’t hurt), but almost exclusively for the company. HST is a unique program that allows PhD, MD and MD-PhD...


Unlearning what I thought I knew about PhDs and MIT

Jan 2021
Biological Engineering
“Wait up for me!” I shouted after my father as I scrambled to keep up with him. At 6 years old, I didn’t really fit in with the college students dotting the quad under the hot summer sun, but I also didn’t really care. My dad, a professor of economics, was letting me tag along as he went about his...

My advisor left MIT during my PhD

Making difficult decisions with incomplete information

Dec 2020
Biological Engineering
It was a chilly November morning in 2014, and two months into my second year at MIT. My PhD advisor called for an all-hands group meeting with required attendance. We crammed into a tiny conference room: all 15 of us, whose lives were about to be turned upside-down. On the screen, my advisor...

To the Mom applying to Grad School:

How Motherhood led me to MIT

Dec 2020
Supply Chain Management
"Can't believe you got it done with children! Good for you!"  an old friend told me. I received similar remarks from other people as they learned that I had applied, enrolled and now attend graduate school with two young toddlers; they applaud my ability to do so DESPITE motherhood. However, as I...