As I walked from my car to the lab on my first day as a lab intern, I was extremely excited to begin this summer journey that would kickstart my immersion into the world of biological research. Over the duration of my freshman year, I had been looking forward to being able to work in a lab and learn the various associated techniques, and the wait was finally over. As I arrived at the lab, I was acquainted with the graduate student that would act as my mentor throughout the course of my internship. The student, Dylan, then proceeded to give me a general tour of the lab and other rooms that were used. He also gave me a key to the break room and equipped my Michigan State University ID card with access to swipe into the lab. As all of this was happening, I began to feel like I was really becoming a part of the lab and was not simply a visitor. The rest of my first day largely consisted of completing the various online training modules that were required for me to work in the lab. There were a total of four safety trainings I was required to complete, and each was very in depth, so it took me a while to get through them all. One of the safety trainings that was particular to the lab I am interning with involved bloodborne pathogens. The lab I am interning with focuses on retrovirus-host interactions using HIV-1, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the precautions when working with such a dangerous virus. After I completed the online training modules, Dylan gave me the in-lab portion of training, which was the last requirement necessary before I could begin working in the lab. By the end of my first day, I had accomplished everything I needed in order to start getting into the fun stuff. I knew I had a long way to go since this was my first experience with lab research, but I was excited to finally get started on my journey.
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