Soo Ji Kim

Graduate Student in the laboratory of Michael Rust

Flexibility in choosing a lab was key for me as I didn’t know what specifically I wanted to study in grad school, and University of Chicago’s Molecular Biosciences cluster offered exactly that. After joining the program, I was able to sample a variety of labs in and out of my own department through rotations and ended up choosing a lab outside of BMB. Even so, things I learned as a BMB student constantly inform and guide me throughout my project, and I enjoy and benefit from continued close relationships with the BMB professors and students. In general, there was a lot of interest in collaborations and intellectual investment in the colleagues’ work, both in the PI and the student levels, which appealed to me greatly as well. Life outside of the lab, of course, was another very important factor. During the interview process, I immediately fell in love with how people seemed relaxed and were supportive of one another, and I loved hearing about what everyone regularly does for fun. It was easy for me to imagine how I would find my place in this community and establish balanced day-to-day routines. I also got the sense that the professors respect the graduate students as colleagues capable of making independent contributions, which was true for most of the professors in my experience.