Graduate Profile: April Moy
M.S. in Tumor Biology
I am currently working as a biology and chemistry tutor at the City University of New York (CUNY). I will be starting a four-year Pharm.D. program at the University of Michigan. I am pursuing a Pharm.D. degree with a goal of becoming a hospital pharmacist and specializing in oncology.
Why did you choose the M.S. in Tumor Biology program at Georgetown?
I developed an interest in cancer biology through my undergraduate research project in drug design for breast and ovarian cancer. This interest led me to challenge myself to take a graduate course in cancer biology during my research project. After taking that course, I wanted to learn even more about cancer biology and medical oncology. When I found out about Georgetown’s Tumor Biology master’s program, I knew that it would give me a strong background in oncology and help me work toward my goal of using this newfound passion to directly help others.
What experiences in the master’s program were the most valuable or interesting to you?
The most valuable experiences from this program include learning from a very supportive and passionate faculty, developing friendships with my classmates, and contributing positively to a learning environment.
I only had seven other classmates in this program, and we all had different personalities, interests, and backgrounds. Becoming part of a small group has prompted us to form friendships in which we supported each other with adjusting to graduate school and succeeding in our studies. We formed study groups, explored D.C. together, shared our stories and passions for tumor biology, and encouraged each other. Today I still keep in touch with my classmates, and we are still supporting each other after we graduated!
The faculty in Georgetown’s Tumor Biology department has taught me that I will always find the help and support I need if I reach out and look for the people who are here to help me. When I faced some challenges in my courses and master’s thesis project, Dr. Shajahan-Haq and Dr. Hilakivi-Clarke were always there to answer my questions and help me through my struggles. The professors who lectured my courses were always happy to share their expertise when students asked questions or prompt a discussion. The care and enthusiasm that the faculty shared has greatly enriched my graduate education at Georgetown.
How do you use what you learned at Georgetown in your current position, professional outlook and/or career choices?
Although this might not be the case for everyone, it was not until after I graduated when I realized that becoming a pharmacist would make me the happiest. When I reflected on what I enjoyed most about the Tumor
Biology master’s program, I remembered studying for the challenging, but very fascinating, pharmacology course that I took, and learning about how lifestyle affects cancer and cancer risk in the cancer epidemiology
course. This helped me realize that I wanted my career to be in pharmacy and to specialize in oncology. The strong background in cancer biology that I obtained from this program will give me a head start with my future goal of specializing in oncology as a pharmacist.
As I was required to conduct a research project and study for 4-5 classes in both semesters, I became very conscious about my study habits and time management skills. As I was learning and researching in a more professional environment, I learned to communicate effectively, become a team member, and make decisions that would benefit as many people as possible. My experience in Georgetown has helped me grow as a student and as a team member; the skills I learned through this will help me thrive as a pharmacy student and in my future career.
What advice would you give to current or prospective students interested in your career path?
I want to remind students to not beat themselves up for not fulfilling their own expectations or making the wrong decisions. In my experience in Georgetown, I have made a few faulty decisions and failed to achieve high scores on a few exams. But I still thrived in this program! I learned from my mistakes, and the people around me at Georgetown helped me through my struggles. Remember that the faculty are always thrilled to answer your questions and your classmates are facing the same challenges as yo. Also, supporting your classmates and answering their questions can not only reinforce your studies, but also help establish some friendships. Lastly, every educational experience can challenge you beyond academics. So be mindful of what you can learn
from others and how you overcome the challenges you face, because these experiences will help you grow as a person.