Even being a month into my internship, I still have many goals that I have yet to meet but have accomplished a lot and learned even more. I applied and was accepted to be apart of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program (SURF) here in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. I was interested in this position because I have a strong interest in research and medicine and that is something that I want to continue to pursue and discover. Even more so, I wanted to dive into a full time research position that I felt would give me a better perspective on what it would be like to have a career in this field. I have been involved in research throughout undergrad, but never at this intensity and I was eager to find a program and a mentor that would be a good fit for me. There were many programs around the country at various universities and yet I ended up staying here in Ann Arbor. This past month I have come to appreciate all my colleagues in lab and they understand that I’m here to learn as much as possible. I hadn’t considered the new and growing professional relationships I would form in this type of internship, but it may be one of the most valuable aspects.
I’m very thankful that my program requires all participants to attend weekly seminars where the speaker, usually physicians or researchers, discuss the path that they took and why they made the decisions that they did for their careers. Often in the field of research and medicine it can be daunting as an undergrad, well at least for me, to think about all the years ahead to get to those positions. By hearing from a variety of people that have accomplished so much and are still passionate about what they do after so many years is really inspiring. One speaker we had during the first week was really enthusiastic and pointed out the fact that you’re never reaching just for the top position, you must keep pushing yourself in your career. Personally, I often look at my growth and progress in schooling as just the next step to becoming a physician, but just becoming a physician is not the end there’s much more to it and I think it’s important to acknowledge how important this view is. Not everyone takes the same path to get to their perspective careers and that can be kind of scary, but also exciting to know there is an opportunity to try many new things to discover. So far through my internship I have gained a lot of knowledge from the people around me. Who knew I’d learn so much through connections I’ve made through research while I focus on science.