• Manan Parekh
  • Manan Parekh
  • School of Arts and Sciences '19
  • Major(s): Cell Biology and Neuroscience
  • Minor(s): Psychology

Activities: Intramural Sports Basketball Referee, Phi Delta Epsilon, FIMRC

What attracted you to Rutgers University and the Honors/Scholars Program?
I was first attracted to the SASHP because I knew my sister had been a part of it and had a great time and met a lot of close friends. I also knew I was interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience. It was a good feeling to be accepted into the Honors Program, and I made some of my best friends in the world in the honors program. The five of us actually have gotten even closer beyond college. In addition to the friends I made, I benefited from the amazing professors who inspired me to work hard in class.

Why did you choose your major and minor?
The brain was the field about which we understood the least. It will probably continue to be that way for a while, but it was important for me to know what we did know about the brain. The small fraction that we do understand, was still so much fun to learn.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live? What was your first job after Rutgers? Where you do you live?
I am a fourth year medical student at Temple University currently taking a research year at the University of Pennsylvania in otorhinolaryngology. I am doing research in sleep surgery with some of the nicest and most intelligent people in the world. It is a very fulfilling experience, and I'm very lucky to have gotten such an opportunity. I live in Philadelphia, which has its own benefits and downsides. I do miss my family in New Jersey a lot, but living in Philadelphia has been extremely rewarding in its own right.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since you graduated from Rutgers?
My greatest personal and professional accomplishment has probably been establishing a bit of a social media following. That has less to do with me and more to do with luck, which is why I rank it so highly. Not everyone gets to have a platform like I do, and its brought its own challenges and lessons along the way. It has been centered around mentoring medical students and pre-medical students, as well as sharing my journey through this rigorous process. It's been fun at times and stressful at others, but I definitely love it. It's kept me close to medicine when I've felt burnt to a crisp otherwise.

Was there a class and/or experience at Rutgers that led you to pursuing your current career?
The summer clinical internship program (SCIP) was the single most transformative experience I had as a Rutgers student. It was a hard program to land, and luckily I got accepted. I got to shadow neurosurgery at RWJ for 2 months, uninterrupted. I got an amazing letter of recommendation out of it, and it probably jumpstarted my career in medicine. I'm very lucky to have had a positive experience in my time shadowing at RWJ.

What three words describe your experience at Rutgers and the Honors/Scholars Program? 
Friendship. Revelatory. Valuable

How has your Rutgers and Honors education benefited you in your post-Rutgers life?
I am thankful I went to Rutgers every day. I still haven't changed my lanyard from Rutgers to Temple on my keychain. I probably won't for a while. I worked really hard at Rutgers and in the SASHP. I did well and its yielded returns many-fold over in terms of my career and opportunities. It is also always nice to meet another person from Rutgers out and about. I learned how to be a good student at Rutgers, and I would not have survived this long in medical school without that experience.

What advice do you have for our current SAS Honors Program students?
Take advantage of the opportunities. Even if they're not immediately obvious, ask around. Inquire. Investigate. You're only an undergraduate student once in your life. It's the best time of your life, too. Work hard, but never lose sight of the big picture: having fun and making life-long friends. None of this is fun without the right group supporting you and picking you up when you fall down. Choose friends who inspire you, are willing to understand you, and bring out the best in you. Choose friends who you can learn from.

For more information about this Honors alum, visit: 
mananparekh.com - site for my art, poems, FAQs from pre-meds, and more about me

Are you a Rutgers Honors alum? Be featured in an upcoming Honors Alumni Spotlight by completing our online submission form.


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