A Bittersweet Goodbye #6

After spending this summer working with the MacDougald Lab, I have become much more experienced in a variety of lab techniques and have also learned a lot more about what it takes to conduct research. One aspect of this opportunity that I have really enjoyed is the feeling of growth as the summer progressed. As I was given increased responsibilities, I was challenged to manage my time effectively and become adept at solving problems. Over the course of the internship, I also got the sense that the relationship between the other lab members and myself grew from being one in which I took direction from them to one where I used the needs of each researcher to guide my course of action. This made me feel like I was more of their equal because I was in charge of getting certain things done and was experienced enough to handle them independently. During this internship, I have also gained a better idea of the specific field of research I would like to work in when I am further along in my education. In this lab, I got experience working with lab animals and was able to see the work that entails when using animal models. After acquiring insight into this aspect of research, I have discovered how labor-intensive keeping animals is. With all the breeding, genotyping, and tissue harvesting, there is a lot of organization and effort that goes into animal model work, and although I did enjoy some of the tasks that went with the territory, I’m not entirely sure that I would want to embark on that kind of responsibility in my future research. I have great respect for the individuals who do take this route though because I know how difficult it can be. The deeper connections I made with the other researchers in the lab also had a positive impact on my life and educational pursuits. By getting to know them better over the summer, I was able to talk with them about my future goals and receive guidance about working on a research project of my own. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to work at the MacDougald Lab with such an amazing group of people. I definitely learned and grew a lot during my time there, and I am excited to employ my new skills and knowledge to future endeavors.

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