Manisha has always been fascinated with science and curious about why things are the way they are. She became an MCB major because of this reason: "I think MCB encompasses the idea of getting to the root of things. The moment I heard Brad Mehrtens (MCB 150 instructor) speak so passionately about MCB, it inspired that passion in me too."
Manisha is premed and she is also doing a minor in gender and women's studies. She explained that she decided to pursue that minor since it relates so much to the medical field: "Feminism is about inclusivity, being open to everyone. I want to pursue a career in the medical field to not only help provide good healthcare but also modify healthcare in a way that fits people's needs." Manisha started volunteering at the Avicenna Community Health Center when she was a sophomore. Avicenna is a multicultural clinic that has impacted Manisha's views of healthcare and inspired her goal of becoming a doctor. She shared: "I came to college knowing that I wanted to be involved in healthcare somehow, but it was never being a doctor until I volunteered at Avicenna. America is such a diverse place and one medical approach doesn’t fit everyone. Considering the patient's backgrounds and their culture and language is important. I am an immigrant and I have a passion for science which are good things I can bring to the medical field".
In addition to volunteering at the clinic, Manisha has also volunteered at the Student Opportunities for After-School Resources (SOAR) Program since freshman year which is a multicultural tutoring facility for elementary school kids: "I love that place, like I said before I am an immigrant and I am bilingual so working with kids that often times have freshly immigrated to America and helping them feel acclimated is great. It has helped me reflect on my own experience. I immigrated from India when I was 5 years old which is around the age range of kids in SOAR. The way you do things at home is not always the way you do things at school, so I really like their policy of integrating whatever you learn at home into school. Because that is not really how schools work all the time. I went to a school in predominantly white area and that was really rough cultural transition so I am glad there are programs like SOAR that I can be a part of and contribute to the community. Being aware of the difficulties these students face helps so much when interacting with them".
Manisha has also worked in a research lab on campus since sophomore year where she assisted in a study about how the female reproductive system impacts the inducibility of epilepsy. She joined the research lab to explore her interests and ended up loving it, especially since she could integrate what she learned in class. She is clearly a very accomplished MCB student that has learned how to manage her time well so that she can be part of all these amazing opportunities. Because of this, she had great advice to give: "This is something I definitely learned during freshman year; it was a transition... Be able to designate how much time an activity is going to take. Putting deadline on yourself and holding yourself accountable is important. Doing things without a plan is not going to work but also be realistic on how much you can get done. I came freshman year with a very strict focus on what I wanted to do, a very rigid schedule. I didn’t really let myself fully explore other things that weren’t science heavy, that were outside of my interests. Sophomore year is when I started pursuing my interests and willing to try things outside my comfort zone. Be open to change. Also, meet different people, diverse people. It is very important."