As my final day at internship approaches, I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. During my time here at the laboratory I’ve been able to gain an enriching experience on research and the process of conducting it. I am so thankful to my mentor for allowing me to have this amazing opportunity and to all the people I met during this month. After reflecting on the past couple of weeks my meaningful contribution is being someone that anyone can talk to as well as teach. I’m generally more of a shy person so I really challenged myself to get out of comfort zone and do my best to build new connections and relationships with the people around me. Because of this I was able to have a lot of good conversations with many of the lab workers and through this I was able to serve as the “right hand man” during many techniques and procedures being done. The lab workers were then able to explain what they were doing and how it worked. During my first week here, Bruce, someone who was supervising said that teaching me would be the best way for them to learn as well. That sort of stuck with me the whole time and it was cool to be able to further my learning as well as theirs simultaneously and in a real laboratory environment. All in all and now that internship is almost over it’s a bittersweet moment to leave. I can’t begin to describe how much I’ve learned and grown here but at the same time I’m ready to return and see my friends and teachers. Once again I’m thankful to all the people I worked alongside of and hopefully I’ll be able to work with them again in the future.
Internship Blog 4
During these past couple weeks I would definitely say that their has been a couple of key moments for me that have really allowed me to grow and flourish as a young scientist. My first moment would be conversations I have had with various lab workers. They have taught me so much about what I am interested in pursuing as a career and given me advice surrounding that topic. Personally, I have always been a person that likes to plan my next steps in advance as to what I want my future to look like. This can be both a rewarding or harmful quality but this past war it has brought me a lot of stress. During my three weeks here I've learned that their is no rush or finish line in terms of what I want to accomplish. There may be milestones that I hope to cross but I've learned to not have a final picture of what I want my life to look like. Another big moment was having my advisor, Britt Shirk come and visit me. I found myself talking about all these new and different techniques that the lab used and I learned since I got here. It was also really awesome to show her around the laboratory where she could see my work space. Her positivity and reaction also really motivated me to continue working hard towards my goals and to always challenge myself and crate big ambitions. All in all these moments have really contributed to my experience here and what I will be able to take away and remember even after I leave.
Internship Blog 3
A quality that I didn't really notice at first when I got to the laboratory and didn't even realize until I talked to one of the lab workers was, persistence. It's definitely something you can't see until you've been in that environment for some time. Research really is so much trial and error and it is such a long process. Their are people who conduct research for years before being able to see results! For example, a technique they use in this lab is something called, Western Blotting. This is used to detect specific proteins in a sample of tissue, falling into the category of molecular biology. This process from start to finish takes around two to three days just for a clear reading and many times is unsuccessful since it is very tedious work. After talking to one of the researchers there, Christina I learned that yes, the investigation process is very lengthy but because of that, when you do finally get those hard earned results it is so rewarding and motivating. Adding on to that, you can also see the passion they hold for what it is they do as well as how much they have invested their lives into this field of science. I hope to take both of these qualities and put them into whatever it is I’m working on because I believe it will truly make me happy if I am invested, passionate and challenged in my future career / work space as well as be great characteristics that I can carry throughout my life.
Internship Blog 2
So far this week has been awesome! I've had a lot of time to observe and watch over various studies and also gotten to help around the laboratory with day to day tasks. The experience so far has been very enriching and has given me a real look as to what this career path looks like. What strikes me the most about my workplace is all the resources they use for studies. The laboratories are stockpiled sky high with countless different equipment. From gauze pads and proline to computer after computer. It really is amazing to see everything that goes into these experiments as well as the amount of detail and precision that is required. For example, in the lab I'm currently working in they're studying cardiac fibrosis and figuring out the pressure in the heart with a specific amount of volume. So far they've used so many supplies to do testing and take samples that will be used later on. In the picture I included you are able to see many of the supplies. Adding on to that, a lot of these labs work together and share many of their resources with other lab groups. This helps a lot to cost down on cost since so much of this equipment is so expensive. A good example would be one of the catheters. Imagine a copper wire that's about the size of the tip of your index finger to the bottom of your palm/wrist attached to a battery that's enclosed in a small box. That little machine cost upwards of 3,000 dollars! Although, it is able to measure amazing things like the electric activity in the heart. Overall this week has been awesome and I've been able to gain so much new information through this experience.