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Mayura Balakrishnan

Her Story

When Mayura was in undergrad, she thought she would be working on galaxies, but things have changed. Through her undergrad years, she worked on cosmology-related projects, but towards the end of her senior year and during a post-bac year of research, she fell in love with black holes. She worked with Professor Jon Miller on X-ray binaries for three years, doing projects analyzing data from multiple X-ray telescopes. Currently, Mayura is a 3rd year graduate student working with Dr. Lia Corrales on supermassive black hole Sgr A*. She is currently using Python tools to model the Chandra high-resolution gratings spectrum of the black hole, and her thesis work will focus on analysis of Sgr A* and it's surroundings in the galactic center environment.

Her Advice
1. Grad school is hard, and it's important to not be a perfectionist. Do things 'well enough', and move on!
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help, be it regarding personal or professional issues. There is a community of people around you who are willing to help, and having a network of people to lean on will be essential to your success.
3. At this stage in life, remember that you are in control of what you want, and who you want to be. Graduate school is a time to grow not only into a phenomenal researcher, but into a great person. There is indeed more to life than work.
4. There are no stupid questions, and there's no shame in asking the same question many times.