Getting the opportunity to work in the lab was by far the best thing that has happened to my this summer. Before I had the internship I had a basic idea of what was going on in the lab and why we did certain things. But if I am honest, I could not be able to explain it someone or know the details of what was really going on. I just went with the flow of things. I would understand what was going on one day, but by the next day I had forgot all the details I was told. I knew I had to better myself if I really wanted to leave an impact in my lab.
When my mentor told me about the internship opportunity I knew I had to give it a try. Besides what could be better than learning at a slower pace from my mentor? Things quickly changed form the original plans, my mentor was going to go see his family in China for the first time in years and he was going to be there for most of my internship. In the first we another lab partner and I had to learn everything form our mentor before he left on his trip. One week later we were on our own running three experiments.
The though of not being supervised sounded scary at first but we soon found out that we had the skills we needed to be on our own we just lacked the confidence that we would gain from practice. Being able to do everything in the lab was by the best thing I got out of my internship. By knowing all the steps form mouse to data, I had a better understanding of why we did certain things and what the results meant.
By the end I was able to go to the lab alone and go to work. It is a great feeling knowing that you can do something that you enjoy without asking many questions, such as “Am I doing this right?” or “Where is this at?”. I can not wait to go back to the lab when my mentor is there in the fall and show him how much I have grown. I am not scared of forgetting how to do something, because I did so much practice it is unlikely I will forget. I might be a bit rusty at first but it will not take long to know what I am doing. I feel this summer I was able to take a leap in my research career through this internship I only wished it could have lasted longer.