International Insights: Kisha Pradhan (Nepal) and Kotchaphorn Mangkalaphiban (Thailand)

Kisha Pradhan (2011-2015) – Nepal

Kisha Pradhan
(2011 – 2015)

I graduated from Wilson with a major in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Biology. Right after graduation, I was offered a position of a research assistant at Wilson for a project funded by the USDA. This was a turning point in my career as it made me realize what I wanted to do in the near future. While working for the USDA, I started applying to graduate schools for PhD programs.

Being an international student in the US is challenging as with limited visa, you have to plan everything head of time as you cannot afford to waste any time

Later on, I applied to several universities that offered good research opportunities and luckily, I was accepted for a PhD program at Virginia Tech. Currently, I am in an immunology lab. We are investigating how the human immune system behaves on a cellular and molecular level during chronic inflammation.

I am very thankful for all my professors (Dr. Wells, Dr. Stiles, and Dr. Harriger) for having guided my throughout my journey there at Wilson.

Kotchaphorn (Kotcha) Mangkalaphiban (2011-2015) – Thailand

Kotchaphorn Mangkalaphiban
(2011 – 2015)

Since I graduated from Wilson, I have been working at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) for almost two years. There, I took part in a lab for Dr. Ozelius, who is currently researching about the genetics of dystopia (a movement disorder). This coming fall, I will be joining the Basic and Biomedical Sciences PhD program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

I got my first job through another Wilson international student – Jyotsna Dhakal ’14. At that time, she was already working at MGH and was the one who recommended me to my current boss, who was also looking to hire a research technician. Dhakal proved that Wilson had prepared her well for the job, which put trust in my boss’s perspectives.

During my time at Wilson as well as the job-searching process, I learned many useful tips from my Wilson’s professors. They constantly encouraged me to apply to schools that I thought was out of my reach; they believed in me and pushed me out of my comfort zone. Professors at Wilson truly cares about their students.

I feel that our international group at Wilson is quite special. I don’t see anywhere else that international students are this close and supportive among one another, even after graduation when everyone goes their separate ways.

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