Name: Kareem Alexis
Hometown: Queens, NY
While most science majors spend hours in the lab, this unique biology major goes beyond the traditional boundaries and does it all! Kareem is involved in numerous organizations on campus including the 1913 society, Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society, Student Government, Minority Association of Pre-Health Students and the Rowing Club. If you think that is outstanding, Kareem has also been accepted to Duke Medical School!
What was the first thing you did when you found out you got accepted by Duke Medical School?
“I screamed at the top of my lungs, ran through the hallways, and when I finally calmed down I called my mom and told her we made it! My mom has been one of my biggest advocates and supporters throughout my life, so I was so happy to tell her. Prior to receiving my acceptance letter, I was really anxious. Honestly, I was not sure if I would make it, but I was ecstatic when I found out I did. I was proud to know that all my hard work finally paid off.
When did your interest in the medical field begin?
“This may be cliché, but it began as a child. My mom was a nurse and she would take me to the hospital with her sometimes. I was able to watch her treat patients and I was fascinated with all the medical equipment. My mom always told me stories about work. One story I remember the most is about a little girl who came back to visit my mom after 4 years. When she was born, she was so small that she could fit in the palm of someone’s hand; but despite her condition, she grew into a normal and healthy child. This story is what influenced me to pursue a career in medicine.”
What is the best piece of advice you would give to a freshman?
“Take your time, don’t rush to find yourself on campus or who you are, in general. Although people say college is where you discover yourself, find your soulmate, discover your dreams, etc., you don’t need to force these things to happen. Do the things you like, but also try to gain new experiences and eventually everything will fall into place. Just remember all things happen at the right time.”
Why is it important to be active on campus?
“There are so many ways you can obtain degrees nowadays. Going to a physical college is not much of an asset as it was in the past. You can obtain a degree while sitting on your couch, which is why you need to enhance your degree. College is not only about academics. While academics is important, being active on campus allows you to meet new people, gain new perspectives and gain new experiences outside of the classroom.”
How has your campus involvement influenced your leadership skills?
“I always felt like a strong leader but being a part of different organizations on campus has helped me identify my strengths and some of my weaknesses too. I use to struggle with my communication skills, however being involved in so many student organizations has allowed me to work with diverse groups of people and develop my communication skills dramatically.”
What leadership positions have you held on campus?
“During my freshman year I became an election commissioner with the Student Government Association and I also became Vice President of the Minority Association of Pre-Health students (MAPS) and eventually I became President. Currently, I am a student advisor for MAPS. I was also the public relations chair for Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and I eventually became the Vice President. Lastly, I am a student ambassador for the 1913 society and I was the Vice President of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Society. Oh yeah, I am also an RA (he says this while laughing.)”
Do you think your campus involvement will help you to become a better physician in the future?
“Absolutely! I don’t think I would be where I am without the involvement that I have had on campus. I have met so many people through my involvement on campus and learned so much about different groups of people and cultures. As a physician, it is important to be knowledgeable but it is also essential to have effective communication skills and to be culturally aware because you work with diverse groups of people.”
If your life was a television show what would it be called?
“Awkward Black Guy.”
Would you rather read a book or watch a movie based on a book?
“I would rather read a book first then watch the movie so that I can compare them.”
What is your best pickup line?
“I don’t do pick up lines, I just say hello.”
Are you single?
“Yes I am.”
If you were trapped on an island with a celebrity who would it be?
“Kerry Washington, or better yet her character Olivia Pope.”
If you could be any character from a movie who would you be?
“Ferris Bueller from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”