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Meet this Afternoon's Valedictorian Gautham Krishnaraj

Meet this Afternoon\'s Valedictorian Gautham Krishnaraj

MSc Global Health alumnus and valedictorian Gautham Krishnaraj.

November 16, 2017

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What would you say to your first year you? Meet Gautham Krishnaraj, valedictorian at the November 16 Convocation for the Faculty of Health Sciences.

1. Name: Gautham Krishnaraj

2. Hometown: Currently Residing in Mombasa, Kenya

3. Degree/Major: MSc Global Health, Thesis

4. What made you choose McMaster for your higher education career?
I chose to attend McMaster specifically to pursue thesis studies under Dr. Lisa Schwartz and the Humanitarian Health Ethics Research Group based at McMaster.

5. What will you be doing after graduation or see yourself doing?
I will be returning to Mombasa, Kenya to complete my remaining five months in the field as part of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada International Development Management Fellowship Program. I am hoping to continue providing valuable support to the health and education initiatives of the Madrasa Early Childhood Program across East Africa.

6. What would you say or advice to your first year self?
Given that I completed my MSc in one year, I would tell myself at the start of the program that it is possible. I remember thinking in April 2017, that I had 3 months to study for/write the MCAT, write/defend my thesis, all while travelling to India, Singapore, and Kenya. I was nervous, but ready to put in the work necessary to succeed - and looking back, the effort paid off.

7. How has McMaster shaped the person you are today?
McMaster has been a place of transition - while my time here was short, it was the place where I consolidated skills, and applied them in new ways. It was also the place where I took learning into my own hands; during my BSc, most of my learning was done in the lecture hall or studying what had been presented. During my MSc, I learned far more in conversation with my supervisors and pouring over articles/textbooks than I did in any class.

8. What events did you enjoy the most at McMaster/Hamilton city?
One of my favourite things to do in Hamilton was explore its cafes and restaurants. Coming from Canada’s gastronomic capital of Montreal, I’ve always loved studying and doing my research from the warmth and bustle of a cafe (shout out to Humble Lion Cafe, Montreal!). Walking from cafe to cafe is a great way to learn the lay of the land; in Hamilton, these walks could take 30-40 minutes through various neighbourhoods. I’ve been caught in more than one snowstorm and got lost more times than I can count, but I’ll still always prefer to see the city from the sidewalk rather than the inside of a bus. Cafe owners and baristas are always excited to tell you about their craft, and I’ve definitely run more than a few thesis ideas by them. Strangers often give the best advice, you just have to ask!

Read the rest of the interview on Daily News

Learn more about Fall 2017 convocations here: