Graduation Spotlight: Megha Dalal

Megha Dalal

Major: Cognitive Science

Minors: Leadership, biology, chemistry, psychology

Why did you choose this area of study?

I’ve had a wild journey when it comes to majors and minors, but I chose cognitive science because I am fascinated by people. Cognitive science is the study of cognition from a variety of perspectives and this fits my interests perfectly! I enjoy the philosophical and psychological conversations I get into during class, while also feeding my love of biology, computer science and neuroscience.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation, I will be working as an Enterprise Payments Analyst at KeyBank.

Why did you choose CWRU? 

Originally, Case Western Reserve’s great pre-med program and proximity to world-renown hospitals caught my attention. Yes, I entered CWRU intending to major in biology on the pre-med track. However, I also really appreciated the flexibility the university offered me. I had always been interested in a variety of topics, and CWRU would allow me to explore classes (and, eventually, majors and minors) unfettered. I ended up taking classes in religion and theater, and getting not one, not two, but four minors.

Finally, what really sealed the deal for high school senior me: I fell in love with the campus. I remember walking around campus with my parents and easily imagining myself studying in “the Tink” and wandering through NRV and making lifelong friends here–and that’s exactly what I did.

What’s your favorite memory of CWRU? 

My freshman year, a few friends and I attended the annual Snowball. The ball itself was entertaining, and I’m pretty sure my voice was a bit hoarse the next day from singing all night long, but it was after the event that really stuck in my brain. These two friends and I, a month into our college lives, decided that we were ready to turn in for the night. Instead, we wandered around snow-covered Uptown in our formal dresses for hours, posing for dramatic pictures and climbing on top of benches and throwing snow around and generally goofing off. That night was everything younger me wanted from college, and it was only the start of many, many, many great nights with friends.

What would you like to share with incoming freshmen? 

Try everything. As my sister used to always tell me, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Most of the time, the worst case scenario is someone saying no! And most of the time, you can always back out. Join that club that you’re vaguely interested in—if it doesn’t work out, hey, you met some new people and now know more about your interests. 

Sign up for that class that sounds really cool—add/drop and freshman forgiveness are there for a reason. Apply to that internship, or job, even if you don’t think you’re fully qualified—you could get a no, you could get a yes, you could get a “no but” and find an unlisted opportunity that ends up being great.

You can also gain connections that could be helpful in the future. College is a place where you can explore, and I strongly encourage you to take advantage of that. This also applies to your major(s) and minor(s). Declare as soon as you can! It’s really helpful to have a specific major/minor advisor, and it’s relatively simple to switch majors later.

At the same time, don’t feel like you’re “doing it wrong” if you’re not part of ten clubs and taking eighteen credits. College can be overwhelming—move at your own pace!