Suraj Rajan - Clinical Neurology MSc
Job title: Neurology - Movement Disorders
Employer: John Hopkins University School of Medicine
Why did you choose to study your programme and what made you choose UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences/Institute?
The Queen Square IoN came highly recommended by several faculty whom I had consulted with when I was looking for clinical experience in the field. The historic reputation of not only being the epicentre of neurology for so many decades, but also a place where international students like myself can access in various ways, network and build a future career, also was important in my decision.
What did you enjoy most about your programme?
The faculty and staff were always accessible and helped me build the programme around my intended career path. The sheer proximity to great research facilities, and the ability to network with like-minded postdocs, exchange ideas, and also find your niche among the various subspecialties at the IoN really helped. Above all, UCL, at its heart is one of the most cosmopolitan places one can be and you learn something from every friend you make there – be it from your own class or at an off-campus student social.
Did you experience any benefits from studying in London? If so, what were they?
Yes. London has some of the most culturally and historically important influential institutions in my field of study. This made me explore the development and evolution of many neurological concepts I was learning at UCL. For example, during my time at UCL, the Wellcome Trust museum, which is located right next door to UCL, had several exhibitions relevant to neurosciences. The London School of Economics, SOAS, the UCL’s Student’s union (UCLU), The British Museum and many others organized talks by leaders in the field that I was able to attend only because I was in London. These not only opened up my mind culturally, but also helped me connect with many people outside my field of work.
Do you have any tips or helpful advice for incoming students?
- You are going to be in the company of some of the smartest people in the world. Listen and learn from everyone.
- Network outside your field of expertise. You don’t know where the inspiration for your next project or job will come from.
- You are in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; make that count.
How did you get to where you are now in your career? Was there anything in particular from your time at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences/Institue that was valuable?
Through UCL IoN, I became more aware of what are the subspecialties within Neurology and how they are integrated vertically and horizontally. The research experience at UCL was invaluable in improving my prospects for further training in the United States. I found my passion for Movement Disorders and decided to choose that as my subspecialty inspired by my mentors at UCL. The friendships I made at UCL have blossomed into collaborations from which I continue to gain professionally.