Meet Our Alums – Ahmed Alarabi – "Choose Your Mentor Wisely"
Published April 5, 2022
College of Health Sciences
Were you a first generation college student and graduate?
Yes, I am a first-generation graduate.
What sparked your interest in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program?
As a health professional and physician, I was always interested in finding solutions to physical health problems outside the domain of physical health and in looking at the bigger picture. For example, I worked with patients who had poor physical health because of life stressors. Also, I treated patients who couldn’t afford to get proper treatment. It was clear to me that physical health is influenced by other factors such as mental health, socioeconomic background, etc., and in some cases, these factors have the biggest impact. This understanding intrigued me to investigate the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program.
Tell us about the most interesting experience you had as a PhD student.
The most interesting experiences that I had during my PhD were related to the moments of success, even on the simplest level of the word – moments like successfully running experiments and getting promising results, or simply presenting my data and receiving constructive feedback that helped me to improve my research studies.
Tell us about your current work. What are some of the skills you learned as a PhD student that you use on a daily basis?
I am currently working as a postdoctoral research associate at Texas A&M University College of Pharmacy. My work here is an extension of my PhD work. The skills that I learned during my PhD can be categorized into two types: 1) technical skills related to some of the techniques in my field that help me to be able to run good experiments, as well as other skills like writing and reading manuscripts and synthesizing information from the literature, and 2) soft skills related to presenting data to crowds of people and being more confident in communicating my work.
What is the most important piece of advice that you would give yourself if you could go back in time to your first year as a PhD student?
The most important piece of advice I would give myself is to be wise in choosing a good mentor, someone who is willing to invest the time and effort to help you grow.
For more information about the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences PhD Program, please visit: www.utep.edu/chs/ihs.
Photo courtesy of Ahmed Alarabi