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Student Spotlight: Nareh Sahakian

Why did you choose to attend Northeastern?
While I originally chose to do my undergrad at Northeastern for the co-op program, coming to Northeastern ended up being one of the best decisions of my life for so many reasons. Not only did I have the opportunity to work full time in my field before graduating (with almost 2 full years of lab experience at the time of graduation!), I also made lifelong friends and some amazing memories. Because my undergrad was such a positive experience, I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else to earn my graduate degree. And again, the co-op as part of the bioinformatics program is invaluable. I think I chose well! Northeastern has proven to be another amazing decision.

What other organizations or activities are you involved with outside of your degree program?
While I’m not involved with activities on campus, I do work full time at the Broad Institute. I’ve also started a hiking club for Armenians in the greater Boston area. So far we’ve gone on 3 hikes with some great turnouts!

What is your favorite part about Northeastern?
Academics wise, my favorite part about Northeastern is the co-op program. It has helped immensely to supplement the learning in the classroom with real experiences in the field. Non-academics wise, my favorite part about Northeastern is the sense of community that has been ever present since I first stepped on campus back in 2012.

What is your favorite part of Boston?
The food! There is no shortage of restaurants and all different types of cuisines to try. I always love trying out new spots in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Medford.

What is the best perk of being a Northeastern student?
The global community! Northeastern has such far reaches around the world and it’s an amazing perk to take advantage of. Talk to your advisors about co-op connections abroad if you’re at all interested!

What advice would you give to an incoming graduate student?
Forget about the lesson structure from undergrad – graduate classes are a whole new ball game. Be prepared to do almost all of the learning on your own, since most professors change their ‘lecture’ time into a ‘recitation’ time where you can go at your own will and ask questions, rather than sitting through powerpoint slides.

What are your plans after degree completion?
I’m hoping to make a smooth transition from my current wet lab position into a more computational or analytics role. I’m hoping that I can either stay in the lab that I’m presently in, or find another opportunity within the Broad. I’ve loved working there the past year and a half and it’s one of the best places to be for bioinformatics!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I’m hiking all the 4000 foot mountains in New England. There are 67 total in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. I’ve done 17 so far!

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