Maneesha Rajora talks about fourth year

A day in the life

Maneesha Rajora talks about fourth year

Maneesha Rajora

It’s called a central science for a reason, because after doing a degree in chemistry, you have a lot of options.

Discovering chemistry in every science

In high school, every time Maneesha Rajora read an article about a new discovery in regenerative medicine—growing transplant organs or building micro-implants—she knew she wanted to be that kind of scientist.

Choosing the right undergraduate path to becoming a biomedical engineer was an important decision for her; she had to decide between a science or an engineering degree.

“I chose sciences because I wanted to do biomedical engineering afterwards,” she says. “A science degree allows you to explore different scientific disciplines.”

Maneesha is now finishing an honours degree in chemistry.

“It’s called a central science for a reason, because after doing a degree in chemistry, you have a lot of options.”

When Maneesha took other science courses, the flexibility and usefulness of chemistry was immediately apparent. Microbiology, genetics, physiology—she could apply the chemistry she learned to all of these subjects.

“Chemistry has a focus, but at the same time, there’s a little bit of chemistry in almost everything,” she says.

From the start, Dal’s Chemistry Program impressed her.

“I was blown away in first year by the Chemistry Program. The amount of support that students got was incredible.”

She loved the faculty-made first-year program book, the tutorials, the Concept Room, the graduate assistants who helped her in second and third year, and the numerous opportunities to do real research.

“Research is a different entity of its own,” says Maneesha, who spent two summers working as a researcher and one year as a teaching assistant in chemistry labs.

"You get to do real chemistry in the lab components, but you just don't get the full scope of lab chemistry until you work in a research lab."

During her degree, Maneesha made time to volunteer with the transitional care unit at the Victoria General Hospital in Halifax where she got to see biomedical engineering applications first hand.

“I found that biomedical engineering is almost a perfect blend of chemistry and biology,” she says. “It was really cool to be able to see how it would apply directly to someone’s life.”