Alumni Chat: Britney Grayson

Britney GraysonToday’s blog post is from Britney Grayson, a 2004 TU graduate who is currently training at Vanderbilt University in the general surgery program.

I will finish my third of five years of general surgery residency this summer. Vanderbilt is one of the top 15 general surgery training programs in the country. I am so stinking blessed to train here. I am currently deciding between additional training in transplant or possibly pursuing a career in mission-based international surgery. As part of my fourth year of residency, I’ll be in Kenya this October working with their surgeons and learning about delivering surgical care in resource-poor environments. I still hope to incorporate research in whatever field I choose. So basically no clue where the next steps will lead me- I’m just enjoying the ride :)

In considering college choices, I was attracted to The University of Tulsa for the specific opportunities it provided to undergraduates and now, many years later, I can tell you that it did not disappoint! As a freshman, I worked in a biological sciences lab- a strategic ploy to make myself an attractive medical school applicant. As a sophomore, I worked with my professor/mentor to create a research project that blended his interests with mine and I worked on the project, with the assistance of a laboratory technician, for the remainder of my college career. To have that much input in project design was quite frankly much more than I had earned. In fact, I can’t imagine giving a 19-year-old that same opportunity if I had my own lab right now. THAT is what is so special about TU. Based on these experiences, I pursued a Ph.D degree in addition to the M.D. and have committed to keeping research a part of my future. Continue reading

The Ease Of Studying Abroad

1888439_721841354526667_981847913_nToday’s Tuesday with Tulsa comes to us from Kristina M., a junior Sociology major from Tulsa, OK.

I fostered the desire to go abroad from the very moment I knew how easy it was at The University of Tulsa. Before even starting school at TU, I went on my tour of the campus and was given some statistics on how many students go abroad, proving how easy it was. Next was the decision of where I wanted to go to and when I wanted to plan this adventure. Location was easy. I read a book entirely set in Ireland and it was no contest that I wanted to see the same beautiful scenery described in the books I read, in person. Timing was something that took more forethought. I decided on going my sophomore year to leave open the possibility of me going again later in my college career. With that all decided, funding was the next question, leading me to an information session on the Gilman Scholarship, a nationally competitive scholarship that is based both off of need and merit. That info session changed the still tentative plans that I had made so far.

The Gilman Scholarship encourages travel to non-traditional places, meaning places that students don’t often go to, and does that by awarding more scholarships to these places statistically speaking. That wasn’t the entire reason that I changed my location, but it made me start to consider other locations that weren’t in Europe. I chose Uganda after narrowing down my options. I started looking at programs in Africa because, as a sociology major, I wanted to go to a poor country and the Uganda: Post Conflict Transformation through SIT best fit my interest. Continue reading

Secret To My Success

image1Here’s a picture of me (far right) with the Governor of Oklahoma! I just won 1st place in a poster competition at the capitol with my TU friend (mid right) winning the overall competition. On the surface, it appears my college career has been full of success. And I have had my fair share. However, if there is one piece of insight I could offer high school students who are entering college soon, it’s that for every success of mine that ends up on TU’s Facebook account or in the newspaper, there are at least three other times I have failed.

Just this week: I was lackluster in an interview for a chair position for a club I liked and didn’t earn the position. I lost an election to be treasurer of University Ambassadors after making a speech in front of 100 people. I even lost my apartment keys.

IMG_2510My rate of success is only 25%, but luckily there are a tremendous amount of opportunities at TU. Professors have connections to industry internships and National Science Foundation grants. There are chances to study abroad. There are club presidencies and Student Association positions where you get to organize school-wide festivals for events like Homecoming and Spring Fest!

I’ve interviewed and applied for and been rejected for nearly all of these things. However, the secret to success isn’t to be successful at everything, but to at least try for all the opportunities you desire so that even if you only succeed  25% of the time, you’re overwhelmed with all of your success! It is this attitude that has garnered me internships in Japan, NYC, and Colorado, presidencies and vice-presidencies of clubs, and even poster competition prizes at the capitol with the governor.