Refining skills | #2

As I spend more and more time in my lab, a lot of the assays and techniques that intimidated me before are becoming easier. For example, I used to absolutely hate western blots because there were so many steps that took place over multiple days. Now that I’ve done them more though, I’m able to carry out each step of the assay without having to look at my notes every 5 minutes. Rather than the dreaded and seemingly insurmountable experience that they were before, they have now become a typical day in the lab.

I’ve also been able to learn a lot of making stocks of important solutions and other items. By doing these, I feel that I’m contributing to the entire lab, rather than just working for myself. They are sometimes annoying to make, especially when you have to make them often, but I still appreciate the opportunity to practice these kinds of skills as well.

There are a couple people in the lab to whom I often ask questions, and they almost always know the answer and are able to explain to me in a clear and concise way. My own explanation and teaching skills are subpar, so I aim to one day be at their level. Then, maybe new undergrads can look to me for answers and advice!

Jenn

I'm a rising junior studying Cellular & Molecular Biology. This summer, I'm working in an MCDB lab to gain more research experience!

One thought on “Refining skills | #2

  • June 18, 2018 at 7:46 pm
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    Jenn,

    Apologies for these comments coming in all at once, but at the very least, I’m glad that I get to read your submissions!

    It sounds like you’re really finding your own voice and comfort in your skill level at the lab. It can happen rather gradually, but it’s always a great feeling to realize that you are comfortable in a working environment that seemed quite new at the beginning.

    I’m glad to hear that you’re taking steps to try and feel like you’re contributing to the whole team. Particularly in more independent-work positions, feeling like you’re a part of a team and that your contributions are making a difference can be difficult, so I encourage you to keep seeking opportunities where you can receive affirmation of the great work that you are doing! I’m also glad to hear that you have found a few people in the lab to ask questions and gain some guidance. Do you see these folks as potential mentors for the future? How can you continue developing and curating that relationship so you can activate this network in the future?

    -Josh

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