After earning post-baccalaureate, 2021 KU grad works toward dream of becoming a doctor

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q&A series, outstanding 2021 KU graduates share how the KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Sameer Upadhyaya.

Sameer Upadhyaya, post-baccalaureate in health science, 2021 graduate

With his post-baccalaureate in health science, Sameer Upadhyaya is ready to make the transition from registered nurse to doctor. The post-baccalaureate program, developed in 2018 and offered in partnership with KU Medical Center, was designed to help students with a bachelor’s degree complete upper-level undergraduate biology and biotechnology courses to begin or advance in their health science careers.

The 27-year-old was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, and moved to the U.S. with his family at age 12. “As an immigrant, I see that I have amazing opportunities here, and I do not want to squander them,” said Upadhyaya.

The course schedule and evening classes offered at KUEC allowed Upadhyaya to maintain a delicate balance of work, life and school while earning his degree. The occasional donut didn’t hurt, either – Upadhyaya’s study group, which he calls “The LaMar’s Bunch,” was comprised of four or five students in the post-baccalaureate program who frequently met at the LaMar’s Donuts next to the Edwards Campus to review course materials.

Upadhyaya’s hard work ultimately paid off when he was accepted early decision to KU School of Medicine. Read more about his journey.

Q: What is a typical day in your life like?

A: I drive to the KU hospital in the morning and work a six-to-eight-hour shift, then come home and study before going to classes in the evening. I took four classes this semester and they each had a lecture that is three hours long. This gave me the flexibility to work a full 12 hours on the days with no lectures.

Q: What makes you the happiest?

A: Riding motorcycles and the open air. 

Q: What motivates you?

A: As an immigrant, I see that I have amazing opportunities here and I do not want to squander them. I enjoy taking care of my patients as a nurse. If I have a path to expand my skills and help my patients with the acquired knowledge, I will happily take it.

Q: Why did you choose KU?

A: My professors are steeped in the subjects they teach and are very good at their jobs. All my counselors are fantastic and give me advice, coach me for interviews and overall want me to succeed. 

Q: How did KU meet your personal and/or academic needs?

A: KUEC has prepared me for medical school with the needed classes and support on applications.

Q: How has your program prepared you for the future?

A: It gave me the knowledge and advice to successfully apply and be accepted to KU Medical School.

Q: What was the most difficult part of earning your college degree and how did you overcome it?

A: The most difficult part was balancing work, life and studying. Thankfully, the classes are not every day of the week. I worked some days and studied on the days I had classes. 

Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?

A: Becoming a registered nurse.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at KUEC?

A: I remember studying with friends at the LaMar’s Donuts next to the Edwards Campus and the conversation kept getting sidetracked until we just gave up and talked about non-school things that day.

Q: What are your long-term career goals and how do you plan to achieve them?

A: I want to be a doctor. I’m starting school in July, getting my medical degree from KU School of Medicine.

Q: What advice would you give others who are thinking of earning a degree, whether a first-time bachelor’s, a second bachelor’s or a master’s?

A: It does not matter at what stage of education you are at or your age. If you have a desire to be in a certain career, then find out what qualifications you need and start working towards them. Some goals take longer than others, but it will be worth it in the end.

Learn more about the Post-Baccalaureate in Health Science at KU Edwards Campus.

Learn more about the Post-Baccalaureate in Health Science program

Download the program guide

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