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The Story of Nikhil Jacob

People who are ambitious and are active in pursuing their dreams, inspire me. Their passion is infectious and their influence eternal. An example is my grandfather who never retired but continued to work towards setting up a palliative care centre, with immense energy.

I grew up in India, Thailand and Switzerland after which I came to the UK for my University, an experience which helped me adapt quickly to the multi-dimensional demands of university life. Whizzing forward to my third year, I developed a fascination for the human brain whilst doing my project on Brain-Computer Interfaces, which then won an international award and got featured in Indian national media outlets, in addition to presenting my internship work at a University of Cambridge conference. All these gave me a confidence and ego boost until I started applying for my PhD. Here, my story took a sharp turn after facing rejections from around 20 places. I still keep a record of these and is a reminder to me of one of my favourite quotes: ‘When one door closes, another one opens’. This is exactly what happened when I finally got accepted at Manchester with funding not only in a topic I initially wanted to pursue but also with a great supervisor and lab team. This experience has taught me lessons about grit and the importance of embracing failure, to truly enjoy the light at the end of the tunnel.