Earlier this year, I never imagined myself spending the summer in New York City but exactly a month ago, I started working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as an intern in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I currently work with Dr. Margaret Du, ScD who is an investigator/epidemiologist who went to U of M for her undergraduate degree too (Go Blue!). When she visited Michigan in early April for a guest lecture, she discussed the opportunity for me to work on a research project with her. After our talk, it didn’t take that much convincing for me to accept her offer. And now, I can’t imagine having said no to this opportunity. I have been able to design and build a research project from scratch, something I have never been able to do before.
This past month, I have been learning and growing both personally and professionally as well as deepening my passion for research. Along the way, my research project has provided me a chance to learn SAS (a statistical programming language) and work on my data skills such as data cleaning. Given my background studying Neuroscience and computer science, I have found the work I have been doing enjoyable. Since I have less experience in statistics, I have faced challenges with conducting data analysis and running statistics like regression models. This project is also a steady work in progress that will take me well beyond the length of my internship to complete. Dr. Du has been an incredible mentor and continues to inspire me as I work on this and I cannot wait to see this project come to life in the form of a journal article.
Beyond the challenges, I see this internship giving me added perspective so I can come to a better understanding of my future career possibilities. I want to be able to leverage my computational background and apply it towards research, particularly in the healthcare field. I think this internship has helped me narrow down fields to focus on and get a deeper understanding of my strengths and interests. So for now, a month has passed and in midtown Manhattan as I work at my cubicle, I can see some things in my life coming together