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Name: Erik T.

Hometown: Audubon, PA

Major(s): Biomedical Engineering, minors in Psychology and Mathematics

Current job: Medical Student, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career: I knew I wanted to go to medical school without a gap year, so I took the MCAT after my sophomore year, applied my junior summer, and spent my senior fall/winter interviewing at medical schools. Since getting to medical school, I’ve continued exploring my interests in medicine-adjacent work by taking a Medical Devices class at Wharton and spending a summer working for the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation. I don’t know what I plan to specialize in yet, but I hope to know by the end of my clerkship year!

Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU? Research in a neuroengineering lab and clinical psychiatry lab. Shadowing a general surgeon at Union Memorial Hospital, and doing an Intersession rotation in the cardiac surgery department at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Design experiences in the BME department.

What extracurriculars were you involved with at JHU? Blue Key Society, Hopkins Hosting Society, Alpha Phi Omega (service fraternity), Senior Class Gift Committee, PILOT, Pre-Professional Advising Office Student Advisory Board, Thread, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Tau Beta Pi, and Alpha Eta Mu Beta.

In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career? From the beginning, Hopkins forced me to have strong time management skills to allow me to balance classwork and extracurricular activities, which has transferred well to medical school so far. Hopkins also taught me to reach out for anything I was interested in doing without fear of being rejected.

Favorite Hopkins memory: It’s hard to pick just one, but I used this one a lot in panels: freshman year, my entire floor got together to celebrate the birthday of one of my suitemates. We all got together to make a card/poster, which he hung up in his room for the year, and bought him an ice cream cake. His roommate and I planned all this during Physics Lab…

What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most? Honestly, I miss being around all of the people I met at Hopkins. A few of my friends from my freshman floor are still my closest friends now (and a couple of us are now in Philly!), and I met so many people through extracurriculars who I miss seeing on a daily basis. It’s just so convenient when your friends are just a few minutes’ walk away at any given time of day.

How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences? Baltimore is a great place for young adults, and especially for any student with an interest in healthcare. Access to the hospital makes it so convenient to do research and shadowing. Additionally, the start-up culture of the city developed my interest in device design and management, leading to my goal of continuing medical-adjacent work even once I become a fully-trained physician.

Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self? Get involved earlier! I joined many of my extracurriculars sophomore year, afraid of being overwhelmed at first, but I would have met so many upperclassmen who could be mentors and had so many more experiences had I joined earlier.