The most influential experience I had as a high school student that made me want to come to Nazareth was the “Experience Naz” bus trip. Before I did my overnight experience, I honestly had no idea where I wanted to go. I applied to schools that had 500 person lecture halls, and I applied to schools where the largest class size was thirty people. I knew that I wanted to come in as a pre-medical student, and probably as a biology major, but that was all that I knew.
The Nazareth bus picked me up in Albany, NY, which is about thirty minutes from where I lived. When I arrived to campus I was brought to the student I would be spending my overnight with, Moudi. At the time, Moudi was a sophomore biochemistry and pre-medical student living in O’Connor. Little did I know at the time, that Moudi would become one of my best friends and my mentor throughout my undergraduate career. As soon as we shook hands and he introduced himself I started asking a thousand different questions; questions that probably every high school student has, but doesn’t always get the chance to have answered. We started talking about everything from his major, the classes he was taking, his relationships that he had with his professors, the MCAT, and the research he was about to start at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). My overnight experience at Nazareth turned out to be a huge success. After spending two days with Moudi, sitting in on a cell biology class, and doing various activities throughout the day, I was convinced that Nazareth was right for me.
The following year, I came to Nazareth as a Biochemistry student with a minor in pre-medical studies. After my first two semesters, I would see Moudi walking around Peckham hall and we’d always say “hello”, but that was it, never anything more than that. After my freshman year, Moudi had texted me (as he still had my number from when I attended “Experience Naz”) asking if I’d like to join him on his Alzheimer’s research project that he was bringing back from URMC. I immediately said yes and that marked the beginning of my research career and friendship with him. Starting from day one of my first semester sophomore year, I was in the lab with Moudi at least three days a week working on the research. The following semester, Nazareth paid for us to fly down to Dallas, Texas and present our research. Moudi and I got to spend four days at a National American Chemical Society (ACS) conference in Dallas! He gave an oral presentation and I gave a poster presentation. Who would have guessed that the same person that I got matched up with for my “Experience Naz” visit would not only become one of my best friends, but that I’d be presenting research with him half-way across the country? I think that anyone who applies to Nazareth should do “Experience Naz”, whether it’s an overnight visit, or just a day visit. Honestly, if I had never done the visit to Nazareth, I would have never met Moudi, I may not be at Nazareth, and I am confident in saying that I would not be where I am today.
Still not registered for Experience Naz? Don’t worry; there’s still time!
Read more about why Tom thinks Nazareth is the perfect school for pre-med here.