Today we will tell you a story of a girl for whom Nazarbayev University became a second home.
This story began back in 2010, after graduating from the Daryn School in Karaganda, Aigerim Bekenova entered Nazarbayev University’s Foundation program. Then she continued her bachelor’s degree in “Biological Sciences” at the School of Science and Technology (since 2019 – School of Sciences and Humanities). Four years later, after receiving her bachelor’s degree, she entered the Doctor of Medicine program at the School of Medicine. Currently, Aigerim is now in the residency program in general surgery at the same school.
Why did you decide to enter Nazarbayev University?
After graduating high school, I had various options for my continuing my studies: to study biological sciences at Karaganda State Medical University, to go abroad under the Bolashak program, or to study in the Pre-Medicine program (current name Bachelor of Medical Sciences) at NU.
I chose the latter option. About the time I needed to make my decision, a delegation from NU with Dr. Arman Saparov came to our school. He told us about the University, described the academic program and future prospects. The university was attractive to me because it would provide world-class education and most of my courses would be in English. In addition, of course, I thought it would be interesting and exciting to be something of a pioneer by choosing to go to this new university.
Was it difficult to study at university after school? How did you prepare for admission?
The only difficulty was getting used to studying in English. My high school program was quite good so that I did not need to prepare for the subject exams. However, my English needed to be improved so I attended IELTS courses for about a month before I took the exam and this helped me a lot.
You studied Biology, why did you choose Medicine?
From the very beginning, I planned to become a doctor. I made that decision back in school and I never regretted my choice. It important to note that there are doctors in my family: Mom, Uncle, and Auntie. Since I was a child, I witnessed how interesting, noble and difficult it was to be a doctor. I think that in order to become a doctor, you need to see not only the beautiful sides of the profession but also the difficulties and sacrifices that have to be made. So when I chose the profession of a doctor, I clearly understood the difficulties that awaited me, and I was ready for them.
I studied as a biologist because it is a necessary stage before entering the School of Medicine. You can enter the School of Medicine only if you have a diploma of completed higher education. As a result, my program lasts 9 years, but I do not regret the years spent at the university.
Tell us about your family and family traditions?
We have a very large family! Dad has a brother and sister, and Mom has nine of them. I have a grandfather and two grandmothers. We are all very close and support each other. I have an elder brother, who is my support and a reliable advisor. About every two years, all young people in my family – brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. – we go to different parts of Kazakhstan to have rest together.
Our tradition also is to celebrate the New Year together. On the first days of January, throughout the weekend, we visit each other and play board games.
What did the NU give you?
Well, the most important are friends and the environment. NU students are highly motivated to learn and have a broad outlook. The people I met back in 2010 are still my close friends. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect and support at NU. Almost every student is interested in something else besides studying: cinema, music, theatre, and chess. I am happy to be in this fruitful environment!
No doubt, NU gave me the necessary knowledge to become a doctor. I am now talking not only about specific medical knowledge but also about the attitude to medicine, the ethics of behavior with patients. Being a doctor is not just about curing physical ailments; it is also about helping people morally, cheering them up and giving them hope for recovery. That is what I learned at my university, too.
Moreover, another thing the NU has given me is confidence in myself and in my abilities. I realized here that if you have desire and persistence you could achieve anything.
What do you plan to do after your residency?
After my residency, I plan to start practicing in the hospital in my chosen specialty to improve my clinical skills. My priority now is to improve my surgical skills, and after I would like to do science or teaching.
An equally important goal for me is also to start a family because to be successful at work, you have to be happy in your family.