Graduate’s best advice: ‘Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can’


Emily Synoski has had an interest in the medical field since high school. She said she chose to be part of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, and now works in a rehabilitation center, where she also has the opportunity to shadow doctors.

headshot of Emily Synoski
Emily Synoski. Photo by Evan Cantwell/Creative Services

The Honors College student from Dover, Delaware, who graduates this month from George Mason University with a biology degree, has also participated in Georgetown University’s competitive CORE pre-med program, where she and her team pitched an idea to deliver opioid overdose treatment to houseless populations via drones.

At Mason, she participated in Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research’s Undergraduate Research Scholars Program and Associate Professor Ramin Hakami’s Biomedical Research Lab to research Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that causes the plague. Synoski has also been a College of Science learning assistant for Calculus II.

What is your best memory from your time at Mason? It was a culmination of things. I’ve met so many good people and have so many friends and fond memories here. I’m so happy that I applied for the Honors College. They’re just really interesting classes and you get a whole other layer of support with your advisor, and with the opportunity to live in the Honors College learning community.

How have you grown while at Mason? Mason has helped me grow a lot. Career-wise, I feel like I'm actually really prepared to go into the real world. Even though I’m going to leave Mason, I know I can still connect with the [University Career Services], and with faculty. It almost feels like you have lifelong support if you need it, and you make connections that really help you. Not a lot of schools would you be able to reach out to a professor and ask to do research in their lab and they’ll actually respond. That’s one of the things I liked about Mason so much.

What is your best piece of advice for incoming students? Take advantage of as many opportunities as you can. Of course, going into it you can't do everything. You could do a little bit at a time, a semester at a time, but just take advantage whether it’s trying your hand at research, student organizations.

What's next for you? I’m going to keep working as a CNA to get clinic hours for my application to medical school. I want to keep shadowing doctors and retake the MCAT. I’ve been studying for that every single day.