Name: Kasthuri N.
Hometown: The Woodlands, TX
Major(s): Molecular and Cellular Biology
Current job: Medical Writer at Syntactx LLC
Tell us a little about the path from graduation to your current job/career: I took an Expository Writing class my junior year and absolutely loved it. As a Biology major I wanted to combine my love of science with writing and subsequently discovered science writing. Once I realized what it was that I wanted to do, I spent all of senior year stressed about finding a job. I explored every avenue and used every resource JHU and the internet had to offer. A week after graduation I got an interview for my job at Syntactx and multiple interviews and a test later, I was offered the job. I started my job a month after graduation and I have loved every minute since.
Any internships/pre-professional experiences at JHU? I had the opportunity to work at the Molecular Genetics Laboratory of Female Reproductive Cancers and at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Infectious Diseases.
What extracurriculars were you involved with at JHU? I was involved with Blue Key Society (Admissions Representative), JHU Dance Marathon (Co-Director of External Events for 2 years), The Triple Helix (Writer and Editor), Kappa Kappa Gamma (member).
In what ways did your Hopkins education prepare you for your career? Being a student at JHU gave me the opportunity to explore multiple disciplines and subsequently accumulate a treasure trove of knowledge in numerous study areas. As a medical writer, this cross-disciplinary education helped me become a more better, more creative writer and it also gave me a solid foundation in the sciences. JHU also offers classes that combined science and writing, which gave me a unique preview into a future career.
Any classes, faculty members, or involvements at JHU that helped to shape your career interest? Before applying to JHU, I attended a Summer and Intersessions Program where I enrolled in a class taught by Dr. Roberson. This class sparked my interest in Molecular and Cellular Biology
and was the reason I declared it as my major. Other professors that helped cultivate my interest in the sciences include Dr. Carolyn Norris (Evolution), Dr. John Kim (Epigenetics), Dr. Thomas Lectka (Organic Chemistry), and Dr. Larissa D’Souza (Organic Chemistry lab). My junior year of college I got the chance to take a Expository Writing class taught by Mr. Royce Best that made me consider writing as a future career. A year later I took science writing classes offered by Dr. David Grimm and Dr. Richard Panek and my career choice was confirmed.
Favorite Hopkins memory: A few of my favorite Hopkins moments happened in a German class taught by Brandon Pelcher. Brandon was a really funny and kind instructor. I once sent him a email I painstakingly wrote in German with my homework attached and his reply “#Rockstar.” I took a screen shot of the email so I can save it forever and look back at it on the days I need a laugh.
What about being a Hopkins student do you miss the most? I miss many things about Hopkins including a meal plan and the Panang Curry from Levering Cafe.
How did going to school in Baltimore affect your college experience and opportunities for pre-professional experiences? Baltimore is an incredible city and I recommend every student spend time getting to know the various neighborhoods. Whenever I needed a break from the rigors of Hopkins, my friends and I would go explore other neighborhoods. Looking back, I do wish I took greater advantage of the opportunities for pre-professional experiences offered by the city.
Knowing what you know now, what would you want to tell your pre-college self? Your Hopkins experience will be an incredible journey filled with unforgettable moments and amazing people. Keep yourself open to new experiences and possibilities. Oh and download Google Pictures sooner rather than later (you are going to need it)!