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Name: Veena T.

Hometown: Farmington Hills, Michigan

Anticipated Major: Public Health on the Pre-Med track

How did you discover Hopkins and why did you decide to apply Early Decision? Hopkins has always been #1 for me. I loved the focus on collaboration and the opportunity to take part in numerous undergraduate research opportunities! Plus, I want to pursue a career in Medicine and Public Health and the fact that JHU has a Direct Masters in Global Health program and the ability to pursue a MD/PhD in my graduate years really sealed the deal!

Who is the most influential person in your life? My school counselor is definitely the most influential person in my life. I first got to know her from my freshman year when she used to host the after school study lounge for International Baccalaureate students to get together and “study” (mostly just have intense games of ERS and Logos). She had so much wisdom to share, and her easy going, fun nature made her so relatable! When I was going through an incredibly tumultuous time in life, she really was my champion and my rock which I am forever grateful for! I know for a fact I would not have been accepted into Johns Hopkins had it not been for her guidance.

Is there a quote or motto that inspires you? What is it and what does it mean to you? The quote I definitely live by is: “I’d rather choke on greatness, than nibble on mediocrity.” I saw it long ago written on the whiteboard at my middle school gym. I had no idea who wrote and who coined it in the first place, but I feel that this quote is how I choose to live my life. Taking risks and constantly pushing my limits is how I operate, it’s what I believe made me the person I am today. A lot of people have told me that one day I am bound to burn out and make a fool out of myself, but I truly believe that if you derive happiness from every endeavor you take, you will never lose yourself.

What book, album/song, or TV show has had a profound influence on your life? It would have to be the Art of War written by General Sun Tzu, translated by Lionel Giles. Sure, the whole book is written from the viewpoint of a military strategist, but I find excitement in tying back much of his principles back to my own life. Our life is constant warfare, between friends, family and within ourselves and knowing how to approach every conflict with a strategy is sure fire way to improve the outcome. I used a lot of Sun Tzu’s teachings in guiding the way I interacted with myself and my friends.