Shivani Mehta, ‘12
“I felt very welcomed at Yale, and the faculty I met really cared about their students.”
Shivani Mehta knew YSN was the perfect fit for her after her admissions interview. “I was blown away by the faculty I encountered,” Mehta recalls. “Coming from UC Berkeley, where I was just a number in the sea of students attending…I felt very welcomed at Yale, and the faculty I met really cared about their students.”
While swimming through the sea of over 25,000 undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley, Mehta not only completed a B.S. in Nutritional Science, but helped organize the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life event throughout all four years. By volunteering to direct the fundraising efforts of the university’s event, she found herself working very closely with cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their families. “The passion translated into a desire to care for this population in a larger capacity, specifically as an Oncology Nurse Practitioner,” Mehta stated.
After being accepted to YSN, Mehta spoke with several students in the program “who raved about the strength of the courses, clinical placement and faculty.” One faculty member in particular has made a lasting impression on Mehta. In just two months, Christy Reuben, a part of the Hematology/Oncology Unit at the Smilow Cancer Center, and Mehta’s APRN preceptor during her first clinical rotation of her first specialty year, became Mehta’s inspiration and role model. “I felt that she had become that one individual who I want to be, doing what I want to do. I have always heard people talk about finding that one person to serve as a strong mentor and advisor for your career goals and ambitions. I was fortunate to find that person, and I hope to learn more from her as I finish my education here at Yale and work as a staff nurse on the same unit.”
The international opportunities provided by YSN were another appealing factor for Mehta. As an undergraduate student, Mehta had studied abroad in Madrid- an experience which left her wanting to continue the trend during her graduate studies. In March 2011, she did just that. Through the YSN international program, Mehta traveled to Hong Kong to study traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). “This was hands down the most memorable and enriching experience I’ve had at YSN thus far,” Mehta said. During the trip, students not only learned about acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, cupping and other common TCM practices, but gained a better understanding of the nursing profession in Hong Kong. Mehta hopes to incorporate global experiences throughout her career.
Studying abroad wasn’t the only unique experience Mehta was involved in during her undergraduate years. Bringing her love of dance with her to college, Mehta joined a Bollywood dance group that competed on both state and national levels. During her senior year, the group was asked to audition in Los Angeles for NBC’s fourth season of “America’s Got Talent.” The group was ultimately selected as one of the top 40 acts to perform on the live broadcast. “The entire process was an experience of a lifetime,” Mehta said. “I felt so lucky to be around so many talented, passionate, and determined artists with so many different life stories.”