Communication is Key #3

As I gained more and more experience working in the lab, I became more confident in myself and my ability to successfully complete a variety of tasks. However, I distinctly remember going through this period of transition over the course of my internship. During this period of about two or three weeks, I was beginning to trust my competency and feel less overwhelmed in the lab. But there was also still a part of me that was unsure and a bit unfamiliar with things despite my growing certainty. Pushing past this limbo was probably the most challenging part of my internship, especially considering the communication obstacles that arose with my mentor. In general, I would describe Dylan’s communication of instructions as fast-paced. Whenever he relayed the procedure for a particular task, it was typically in a quick, direct manner, which challenged me to comprehend information quickly. However, other aspects of Dylan’s communication style led to confusion between us because information that would have been helpful to a beginning research assistant was omitted. These obstacles were made more challenging for me in this limbo state because I was not yet confident enough to speak up for myself when I had made a minor mistake because of a miscommunication. Dylan also has the self-identified tendency of being a bit condescending at times, which certainly didn’t help the situation. Despite the frustration this period of limbo caused me though, I believe it was an important point of growth during my internship. I came out of it realizing that it is best to have confidence in yourself and not beat yourself up because of little mistakes. During the first half of my internship I made my fair share of stupid mistakes, and my pride certainly took a hit, but I learned that you really just have to shake those things off because they are all a part of the process of becoming more experienced.

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