Deciding to Stay in Rochester for a Graduate Program

By January 31, 2014 March 20th, 2015 Blog Posts

I still remember the day after my undergraduate graduation, most of my friends were nostalgic and happy to leave Rochester and begin a new chapter in their lives. Some had found jobs, some went to graduate programs, and others were undecided. After studying biomedical engineering for four years at the University of Rochester, most of my classmates were ecstatic to leave, but not me. What convinced me to stay in Rochester for another year? It certainly wasn’t the cold chills and below negative temperatures (although I have gotten used to them by now). There were so many variables that I considered when making the final decision to stay for the TEAM program.

Growing up in New Jersey, I had to adapt to the different environment in Rochester. However, I have realized that Rochester has so much to offer including all sorts of different events that will satisfy even the most diverse people. From food, to concerts, to bars, to talks, etc., there will always be something for students to keep themselves busy. I mean, who doesn’t love a delicious garbage plate or a tender rack of ribs from Dinosaur BBQ or a sweet cupcake from Sugar Mountain Bakery? I could keep going on with the list, but that would just make me hungrier. What I also love most about Rochester is the calm and peaceful atmosphere as compared to other major cities and big universities. Along with the surrounding environment, the people here, especially at the University of Rochester, are very friendly and approachable as well as very diverse. Finding new friends was definitely not a difficulty for me or for anyone who decides to come to Rochester.

But putting social interests aside, the academic opportunities at the University of Rochester are beyond outstanding and most of the reason why I stayed in Rochester after four years. Having worked with various biomedical engineering professors, I realized that the research opportunities are phenomenal and there are so many fields that will fit anyone’s interests. At the time of applying to various engineering management Master’s programs such as Duke University’s, I compared the course lists to each other and realized that the TEAM program’s classes were very similar if not better. Most of other schools’ similar programs focused mostly on business courses but omitted many essential engineering classes, which did not intrigue me. Not only is the Hajim School’s engineering program here at the University of Rochester one of the best in the country but the Simon Business School is also at the top of the list. So joining the TEAM program, which is a joint program between both the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Simon Business School, was a “no-brainer” for me.

After finishing one semester of business and engineering classes, I am very glad that I decided to stay in Rochester to receive a Master of Science in TEAM with a concentration in biomedical engineering. I have already made so many new friends along the way and accomplished so many things that I did not get to do in my undergraduate career. As always, I am still stuffing my face with garbage plates and surviving the cold but that and many other reasons are why I can say I love Rochester.

– Stephen Zhang ’14 (MS)