Prospective Students

Mark Gergues with poster

Mark Gergues

Major(s): Cell Biology & Neuroscience, Psychology, and Individualized Major – Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience Track

Graduation Year: 2016

Why did you choose Psychology as your major?

I wanted to explore my interest in behavioral neuroscience but I was scared I was not smart enough to be in that major. I decided to try the physiological psychology course and see if I could handle it. I immediately feel in love with the material that felt meant to be. The courses never felt difficult but rather extremely fascinating so it never felt like work or required a lot of effort. I was lucky to have found what I love, it was the perfect fit.

What did you like most about it?

The scientific rigor, we have world class faculty doing primary research who give you way more in-depth knowledge about specific specialized topics that are not even in textbooks yet!

What is your current position, what do you, and what do you enjoy most about it?

Currently I am working in two research labs led by Psychology Department faculty – Dr. Kasia Bieszczad and Dr. Benjamin Samuels, as a Lab Manager and Head Research Technician. I enjoy being able to help build and maintain a research lab, and especially being able to work on really cutting-edge research being done by amazing and awesome faculty!

What was your first job after Rutgers and how did you get it?

My current job is where I am presently working at. I got it when a previous technician who was leaving to graduate school helped me apply for the position.

Looking back, what classes or experiences at Rutgers would you point to as contributing to your successes?

Working as a research assistant and Aresty RA program in Dr. George Wagner’s lab, who is also in Psychology, lots of neurobiology and behavioral neuroscience courses here at Rutgers. For example, Physiological psychology, Neuropsychopharmacology, behavioral pharmacology, abnormal psychology, and sensation and perception. Also, the Bioethics club helped a lot in trying to understand why animal research is so important!

What advice do you have for our current Arts and Sciences students?

Advocate for yourself, if you want to try or explore something never be afraid that it may be too difficult or out of reach! You will be surprised when you try it and realize it’s perfectly manageable, especially if you find out that it’s not for you – which is just as important than if it is a perfect fit. Have no regrets of what if I took this class, did this major, etc. Do not hold back, plan, organize, and most of all act on your curiosity! College is the time to explore and discover everything – do not be intimidated by anything – the only person stopping you from understanding yourself and potential is yourself. And another very good practice to get into is to meet faculty one-on-one and explain your interests, fears, etc. They are super busy but they make time for you and they are able to tell you the most relevant and important insight advice on picking your career path.