August 18, 2017
Yesterday was the last day of my internship. I gave a very strong presentation over the work I did in my laboratory this summer. The presentation could only be ten minutes long with a five minute question and answer session. The ten minute presentation was not enough time to go over all the work I did. I had to leave quite a bit of data out. I practiced the presentation a few times with my mentor and PI, so I was not nervous about the actual presentation. However, I was extremely nervous about the question and answer session. I was afraid I would be asked a question I could not answer. Luckily, this was not the case as most of the questions were very easy. My mentor and PI were both at my presentation, and they were extremely proud of the presentation and the work I did throughout the summer. The administrators of the SURP Program were also very pleased with the presentation. They encouraged me to come back next summer.
So, how did this internship affect my future school and career plans? Overall, I enjoyed doing research because research encouraged me to think deeply about problems, and I also liked planning and running experiments. Although I had a lot of fun doing research, I do not see research as a future career path. I am the type of person who feeds off of personal interaction. I love talking and working with others. However, while researching, there was not enough personal interaction for me. Furthermore, reading research articles is an integral part of doing research. I couldn’t read more than three articles a day without being bored. Lastly, I could not deal with failure. Failure happens all the time in research and whenever one of my experiments failed, I was extremely angry. I do not want to go through this for the rest of my career.
Because of this summer research experience, I have decided that I will not pursue a PhD program in biology. The main purpose of PhD programs are to train the future generation of researchers. Although I will continue to do some research in undergrad, I do not see research in my future career. Instead of going to PhD school, I have decided to go to medical school. Without the funding of the LSA Internship Scholarship, I would have never known that research was not for me. I am grateful I spent a summer in Ann Arbor but even more grateful that I learned more about myself and my future.