It has been a couple of weeks since I have started my internship and I am really enjoying it. I love the close-knit work environment and the amazing people that I get to work with every day.
One of the most surprising things about my internship is the amount of freedom and independence I am given. My mentor usually walks me through the protocol for a new experiment for the first time, so I have time to observe and take notes. The next time, I am expected to conduct the experiment by myself. To be honest, this is a very drastic shift and it is slightly intimidating, because I do not want to mess up anything; however, I am also grateful for the opportunity to work with a mentor that trusts me enough to let me do the work by myself. Since I have to conduct many of the experiments alone, I have learned how important it is to never be afraid to ask questions. Not only does this serve as a safeguard against making mistakes, but it also shows a commitment to learning. As a result, I have learned a tremendous amount about both general research techniques and the lab’s specific research focus on HPV-induced head and neck cancer. Each and every day I work in the lab, I continue to discover new and interesting things.
There is likely to be some bad surprises that arise during my internship; however, as of right now, I have only encountered good surprises and I hope this continues to be the case!