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Before MAI, I honestly took for granted the process by which hospitals and healthcare 
professionals acquired the tools they needed to perform their duties. I always thought the professionals themselves were the rare commodities, not the equipment itself. In addition to discovering that polar dressing is not transfer dressing is not adhesive 
dressing, standing in front of those towering shelves and learning about the sheer diversity and specificity of each tool has instilled in me a newfound reverence for the equipment that enables our beloved healthcare workers to perform the lifesaving work 
they do.

Talia Rajasekar, MAI Member

What made you join MAI and how long have you been in MAI?

I have been in MAI for two quarters, and I joined this organization because I wanted to 
participate in a non-clinical effort on campus that still played an instrumental role in 
serving the larger community.

What has been your favorite part of MAI? 

I doubt my answer is particularly unique, but warehouse shifts are by far my favorite 
part of MAI. There’s nothing quite like blasting music—arguing over said music —and 
organizing medical supplies while stopping every few minutes to Google a supply 
because none of us knows what a CORE trumpet is.

What has been the most rewarding part so far?

Listening to Jovana debrief the statistics and successes of recent projects during GM is always a highlight for me. Not only is it a chance to play a fun guessing game, but learning how much equipment we sent to various healthcare professionals in need is the ultimate reward.

What’s been you favorite class or instructor at UCLA? 

It is a fiat lux seminar that I am taking that tackles the intricacies of doctor-patient 
relationships as they relate to delicate community health issues, like obesity and the 
opioid crisis. It’s a fascinating responsibility, I’m learning, to not only prioritize a 
patient’s health but to also restore faith in the public health system.

What is your ultimate career goal or plans? 

We still have a ways to go, but I would like to become a pediatric surgeon specializing in cardiothoracic surgery. My brother says the only reason I enjoy spending time with children is because I never had to deal with bratty younger siblings growing up. My 
brother is older, in case you can’t tell.

Do you pour cereal before milk or milk before the cereal?

Ok, please don’t @ me for this, but milk before cereal. Let me explain. When I first moved to the U.S., I simply could not adjust to the Pittsburgh winters, so I would heat my milk up for 10-15 seconds before pouring the cereal in.

Has MAI helped you with your future plans? If so, how?

It’s given me a more grounded framework for what was previously only a conceptual understanding of various medical supplies and equipment. I am assuming that I will encounter many of these tools in the not-too-distant future, so I am sincerely grateful for this exposure now.

Favorite music artist/group?

I generally gravitate towards indie rock artists; groups like Kids That Fly and Hippocampus come to mind. I will say I am currently in love with the narrative quality of Maisie Peter’s lyrics, though.

Cats or dogs? Sunrise or sunset? Dream job?

Cats (with the singular exception of my brother’s German Sheperd, Caspian, for whom I would lay down my life). Sunrise (I’m a morning person through and through). If this whole UCLA thing doesn’t work out, I want to become a stained glass window painter (the kind who paints cathedrals).

Other interests?

In case the “stained glass painter” career path didn’t tip you off, I really love drawing and painting. Oils >>> watercolors/acrylics, I don’t care how snooty it makes me sound.

BPlate or Covel? What's the best Study Sandwich order?

BPlate all the way! Where else are you supposed to get your grilled mole tofu and date chicken?

Favorite TV Show? And a recommendation if you have one.

Oof, I honestly go through a cycle of shows that I thoroughly exhaust and then begin once again, but my two all-time favorites are 30 Rock and Community. Six seasons and a movie. I will die on this hill.