Waheguru Kaur, Class of 2008

The first six years of post-MPA life were especially challenging for me. I’m the type of person who really enjoys having a clear purpose and goals I’m working towards. After MPA I spent 10 months in Rome as an Au Pair studying Italian. Following that, I moved to the U.S. and began a five-year experience in undergraduate education. I attended two community colleges over three years in Espanola and San Francisco. Community colleges have a diverse student base with hard-working scholars and also folks that drop out in the first week. I felt like I was well prepared for some subjects and ill prepared for others. I then spent the next two years at San Francisco State University, where I received a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies with a 3.9 GPA (Phew!).  

My pre-medical route was somewhat non-linear, as a I moved through taking the MCAT, applying to various osteopathic medical schools, until I finally landed in naturopathic medicine. I started my 4-year medical degree in the fall of 2015 at Bastyr University. As I’m about to finish my 5th quarter here I can say that it’s been both rewarding and very challenging. I am inspired by my community at Bastyr and very proud of myself for choosing this path.

Some of the values I cherish most that MPA has given me are: determination for creating authentic relationships; sense of community, which I look for in all places that I go; and finding value in the work that I do, or adjusting course if those values are lacking.  

My advice to the future graduates of MPA is the following: try to have some clarity about the things that are important to you. These could include future studies, the lifestyle you want to live, communities you want to be a part of, etc. Do your best to create these for yourself and ask others for help in doing so. If you have no clue what to do, don’t worry, things will come along. In either case, try to do your best to stay involved in your community: find work or volunteer opportunities that look nice on a resume, which you WILL need at some point in the future. Finally, try to not compare yourself with others- everyone does things at their own pace and your pace is exactly the right one for you.