Why I chose Vanderbilt

We’ve asked six of our freshly-arrived first year students why they chose Vanderbilt above the other terrific options they had.

Chris Hofmann

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vanderbilt
Boston University School of Medicine
Weill Cornell School of Medicine

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

Yes and no. I think my heart knew I wanted to come to Vanderbilt but my head wanted to weigh the options. The decision between Vandy and Cornell was tough. Both are top tier programs and had a lot to offer.

What made Vandy stick out to you?

The atmosphere. Vandy is very laid back but at the same time everyone is so driven and willing to help you. When you’re not in lab there is all of Nashville waiting to be explored. Can’t beat that!

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

The people I met on my interview, the atmosphere, Nashville and the research.

 

Corey Hayford

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vanderbilt
Baylor College of Medicine
UT-Southwestern

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

No, Vanderbilt has great facilities, faculty, location, and also the BRET office!

What made Vandy stick out to you?

They are not pompous about their rankings. They are a big-time school, with a small school recruiting strategy.

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

I was not ready to enter the work force and felt Vanderbilt was my best option. They also seemed to care about their graduate students on an individual level.

 

Sierra Palumbos

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vandy
UCLA
UCSD
UNC

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

Yes… I was deciding between some schools where I had better research fit and some that are higher ranked

What made Vandy stick out to you?

The lifestyle of the graduate students… students seemed much happier and to have a more balanced life. Also, I liked the umbrella program and mentoring approach.

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

I was awarded an additional fellowship and I felt that I would be happiest here.

 

Wyatt McDonnell

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vanderbilt
University of Chicago
Princeton
Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

Yes; all of these institutions are exceptional and in the top 10 programs in the Western Hemisphere for many areas of research.

What made Vandy stick out to you?

True collaborative spirit, very happy grad students, a good place to get real training, not a cutthroat research setting, and beautiful climate.

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

Again, true collaborative spirit, very happy grad students, a good place to get real training, not a cutthroat research setting, and the beautiful climate.

 

Jessica Tumolo

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vanderbilt University
Washington University St. Louis
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Emory University

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

In some ways, yes. All of the programs were very strong, and there were specific “pros” to each that I really liked a lot.

What made Vandy stick out to you?

People have asked me before, and honestly I don’t know. It just did. Overall, all of my interactions were positive. I enjoyed interacting with the current students and also my fellow prospective students. I also thought that Nashville would be a fun place to live!

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

Funding seemed very secure. First year guaranteed through IGP, lots of training grants available after that, lots of highly ranked departments on the NIH funding list. Nashville seemed very affordable for the stipend offered by IGP, and so I was attracted to the idea of getting top notch training in an excellent program in addition to not being totally poor.

 

Cassandra Awgulewitsch

Between which schools were you deciding?

Vanderbilt University
Duke
University of Texas at Houston
Einstein

Was it a difficult decision? Why?

Somewhat. I only seriously considered UT-Houston because I really liked the atmosphere. Funding was excellent and individual awards were available to students. I was also drawn to the ability to collaborate with nearly any research institution in Houston.

What made Vandy stick out to you?

Vanderbilt was more well-put together. The faculty dinner was an excellent experience–both faculty and students were genuinely engaging.   UT-Houston had a lot of funding, but didn’t seem to know how to use it effectively. There was a lot of confusing red tape.     Frothy Monkey was excellent.     I also liked Nashville.

What ultimately made you decide on Vandy for your training?

The atmosphere and emphasis on collaboration. I didn’t want a miserable grad school experience.

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