Thalia Iturriaga, MBS24

"Going to dental school was my main goal, and I know this achievement has only been possible because of the support I have received at the Tufts MBS program."
Headshot image of Thalia

Thalia Iturriaga, MBS24, embarked on her MBS journey at Tufts with a clear vision of honing her skills and fortifying her candidacy for dental school. Through the dynamic curriculum and unwavering support of faculty, she's honed her skills and found a supportive community, achieving her dream of dental school.

Why did you choose to pursue this degree?

"The MS in Biomedical Sciences at Tufts is perfect for anyone looking to pursue a career in dentistry. After I graduated with my bachelor's degree in biology, I went to work while I studied for the DAT admissions exam. The time spent working made me wonder whether I was genuinely ready for the rigor of dental school. Thus, I began looking for a program to prepare me and help me become a better applicant. The program's pace trains you to be ready for a fast-paced environment, and this discipline translates to time management skills that will allow you to have a more holistic experience while in dental school."

Why did you choose Tufts to pursue your degree?

"I chose Tufts because of the high standard of education set by the school, which I knew would prepare me to attend any dental university in the world. Also, the program has a fantastic, interconnected curriculum to facilitate learning. The classes will allow you to learn about medical concepts from different angles. As the courses progress, the information will build on itself, helping you connect information and have a deeper understanding of diseases. The class selection, subjects, and timing are well-thought-out, creating lots of 'aha!' moments (Yes, it's intentional. They are masterminds.)."

What has your experience in the MBS program been like?

"The most magical part of the program is the people. I remember attending my open house, meeting the professors, and thinking they were incredibly warm and approachable. I remember having a whole conversation with Dr. Olgun about commuting in Boston. I would not have a class with her until a lot later in the Semester, but she set the tone for what I could expect at Tufts, and that was my experience with every faculty member. Dr. Kubilus remembered me by name despite talking for only a few minutes with me and was genuinely invested in my journey and success as a student from the first moment. My Thesis mentor, Dr. Soi, a role model, has gone above and beyond to accommodate me. I have so many instances that I can recount where I have felt supported and cared for by the faculty, but the most magical part is that I am no special at all; this is the kind of love and dedication every student at the MBS program receives. And I use the word 'love' because the MBS is a small family, and while you are in it, you feel the kind of love and support one typically only expects from family."

What is your favorite aspect about the program?

"The program is what everyone makes of it. My favorite part is how flexible it is. As a class, there is autonomy when it comes to events; moreover, our feedback about classes and resources is always considered. Tufts MBS program takes the student feedback very seriously. At first, I was skeptical and thought surveys and feedback were formalities, but the MBS truly listens and maintains open communication with the students. It creates an experience tailored to the students and is very open and transparent. My other favorite aspect about this program is that it is a very healthy environment because of the relationships encouraged and fostered while studying here. Despite being a highly demanding program, it promotes student collaboration and friendships rather than direct competition. This environment benefits everyone's personal growth because there are always lessons to learn from others."

What is your proudest personal accomplishment while at Tufts?

"My proudest moment at Tufts was receiving my acceptance letter from dental school. Going to dental school was my main goal, and I know this achievement has only been possible because of the support I have received at the Tufts MBS program."

What do you wish to accomplish upon graduation?

"After graduating, I will be attending dental school. My goal is to take full advantage of my time in dental school. I hope that with the training I have received, I am in a position with time to be actively involved in my school. These years to come will be some of the best of my life, and I am very excited to begin this new journey. Part of enjoying it to the fullest will be having a healthy balance, as I have practiced in the MBS program."

What do you want a prospective student to know about Tufts?

"I want to tell students what I wish I had known in my senior year of my bachelor's degree. If you are in a position where you are still taking important classes and have yet to take your DAT, then this program is the perfect transition before entering dental or medical school. There is help in drafting your personal statements and opportunities to connect and volunteer. Moreover, the program will prepare you by helping you develop better time management skills. If you need a little bit more time before applying, this program is my recommendation."