Name: Daria Bogatova
Hometown: Kyiv, Ukraine
Program at BU: Cell and Molecular Biology, Ph.D.
Please briefly introduce yourself, what’s your background, where are you from, and why are you studying at BU GRS?
“I have a long educational background. I’m originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. We have a wonderful high school system. Since I wanted to do science, biology, and cancer research in particular– and we did not have as much scientific background in Ukraine– I did my bachelor’s degree in Germany, where if you learn German, you can get an excellent education for free. That’s where I got my bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.
After that, I, well actually, fell in love with my high school friend, who was studying here in Massachusetts. He was studying at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and just started his PhD program at BU in computer science. We got married, and I decided to move to the US for that reason. Of course, I wanted to do a PhD, and I started looking for schools. Before that, I worked for a year at Harvard Medical School to gain some experience to know whether I want to do a PhD or not, because that’s kind of a commitment. Then I applied to a couple of schools in Massachusetts and got accepted to Boston University.”
* Daria is also the founder of Mriya, a nonprofit sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the war began earlier this year. To read more about her story and Myria, click here.
Why did you choose to come to BU for your graduate degree?
“I got accepted to several but actually, but it would have to be the open house and the people I met that made me choose BU. Open house this year took place on March 14. Since I lived here in Boston, it made sense to attend, but there was the war in Ukraine that had already started at this point. I do not remember exactly which schools accepted me and when the open houses were, because it definitely was not my priority. People at BU– the head of the program for neurobiology was Ian Davidson and the head of the cell molecular program was Kim McCall – they were so respectful and they didn’t even ask me to attend nor whether I was going to accept the offer. They just gave me all of it: the relocation, the laptop, and bonus. They had everything covered with the bonuses and said if I wanted to come to BU, the option was open. It was very personal. It was very nice. And also, they are wonderful. I liked the program, I liked what they were doing, and I liked the technology they were using. So I chose BU because of the people, what I heard from the students, the dynamics, and the non-toxic environment. I actually did not regret that. I thought that sometimes people are nice during the open house, but when you join, they change. No, it’s still the same. They are supportive, and they are just amazing people. I do not know how to phrase it any differently. Now our head of the program is Trevor Singers, and he’s the coolest guy.”
What are your favorite spots on the BU Campus?
“I like the library in Questrom. There’s a nice yellow corner couch, where I meet my nap buddy sometimes in between classes. We never exchange contexts, we just look at each other, and take naps.”
What is your favorite part about attending BU and studying in the US?
“After Germany, I like that my exams are not 100% of my grade. That was stressful. I think maybe it’s about BU, but it’s also about the graduate level of education. There are fewer people in the classes and the professors are so passionate about their subjects. When I attended a molecular biology class I felt like the professor was going to jump from excitement. And I love that.”
How is life in Boston?
“Drivers, bad. Parks, good. I love the Charles River esplanade, and I also like Memorial Drive. It’s technically Cambridge but you get the whole view of Boston. That’s the best part about Cambridge.”
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
“I hope the war will be over. I just really don’t know how to answer this question anymore. I really hope to be back in Ukraine and share the knowledge that I got here, teaching students, forming my own company, and hopefully getting into government to actually make a difference.”