Pioneer scholars are an international bunch, and for this edition of Pioneer on Campus we take a break from schools in the United States and head to the U.K. to visit with alumni at University College London (UCL). UCL is one of the top research institutions in the UK, and one of four universities that lay claim to the title of “third-oldest university in England.” With a legacy that old, it’s no surprise that we have UCL to thank for producing some of the brightest minds of the last two centuries, including Mahatma Ghandi, Alexander Graham Bell, and Joseph Lister, to name a few.
UCL is also no stranger to Pioneer alumni, with 122 Pioneer Scholars admitted to University College London in 2020 and 2021. A few got together recently to discuss their college experience, research interests and life abroad.
Pioneer alumni Caroline, the organizer of the event, had always imagined what it might be like to meet fellow scholars face-to-face. “Since the program is virtual, I have always wondered what it would feel like to meet my peers in person. Organizing this meet-up after completing the program for almost two years has compressed that virtual space-time distance, which is super cool!”
She went on to elaborate about the bonds that their shared experience in Pioneer had created. “We talked about our lives before coming to London, about our research areas at Pioneer and compared it with what we are currently studying — it was a great opportunity to reflect on our own paths and become stimulated by one-another’s unique stories.” Caroline said. “I love how we were able to connect easily simply by knowing that we all share a similar experience at Pioneer!”
When asked about her time with Pioneer specifically, Caroline found that her experience with the program in high school whetted her appetite for research in college. “My Pioneer experience has equipped me with a rigorous academic mindset, research skills, and confidence to step into university. Because I enjoyed my experience so much, I was quite excited about going into undergraduate studies so that I get to immerse myself in this type of research-based learning every day!”
Stay tuned for future Pioneer on Campus events at other universities. To learn more about Pioneer and our alumni network, check out our official Instagram @Pioneer_Academics, our student-run Instagram page @scholarsofpioneer, or our LinkedIn page.