Photo: Jeewajee

Swarna Jeewajee


Tell us about your first encounter with MIT's OME Office.
I met the OME staff for the first time during CPW; I went to the Interphase Edge panel, where I learned about the summer program, which motivated me to apply!

What were your initial impressions?
Based on what the panelists said, I got the impression that the office is incredibly supportive of students throughout their time at MIT. Having been raised and attended high school abroad, I thought I would benefit from a supportive community during my time at MIT. I spoke with Somiya briefly that day, and she was so kind and encouraging.

Did those impressions change over time?
Yes, and no! The OME has never failed to support me during my time at MIT, but I did not expect that their support would go beyond the two-year programming after Interphase Edge. I ended up learning about MD-PhD programs at our sophomore year retreat and this eventually turned out to be what I wanted to do as career! I feel incredibly fortunate to have had support from the OME as they followed my undergraduate journey towards becoming a strong MD-PhD applicant.

What programs did you take part in, and how were they helpful?
Interphase Edge in 2016: Having attended school abroad prior to college, it was so helpful to have the summer to get used to the American system, and to have ongoing support throughout my first two years at MIT. More importantly, I met some of my best college friends during that first summer! Laureates & Leaders: I felt fortunate to have benefited from ongoing programming and mentorship from the OME staff, students and faculty, as I was preparing to apply to MD-PhD programs. The OME helped me find opportunities, for example summer programs, that helped me decide whether that was the right career path for me.

What was your most memorable or valuable experience with OME?
Anytime the OME served us food was a happy time; I got to meet my Interphase friends and other students during those events. If I was having a hard day, the OME staff always had bright smiles and encouraging words, which meant a lot to me.

If you had to describe OME with one word, what would it be?

What are you doing right now and post graduating MIT?
Currently a first-year student in the Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program (Weill Cornell/Rockefeller/Sloan Kettering). My long-term goal is to become a physician-scientist in pediatric oncology.