Reflecting on my internship experience, I can say that it has definitely been one of the most influential and formative periods of my career thus far. My internship came at a poignant time in my college years, where I was making many high-stakes decisions about what I want to do post-undergrad. This internship helped me to answer those questions.
Things weren’t always easy with my position; it was a lot of hectic scheduling, difficult or unpredictable experiment times, research emergencies, and hundreds of additional hours of requests for help that I just couldn’t say no to. But these experiences really helped me to better understand the research process and navigate through the field that I hope to become apart of in a few years. With every new connection I made and every additional nightmarish hour I committed to working, I felt more sure that this, although grueling, is the path I want to take.
I think I gained many valuable skills during my internship. I learned how to interact professionally with principal investigators and postdoctoral researchers, and the caliber of work I’m expected to produce. I gained a very technical skill set that I hope to apply to future work, and an ability to talk in everyday terms about the highly complicated work that we are doing. Most importantly, I learned how to conceptualize my projects into the greater scheme of scientific advancement.
I’m incredibly happy with the way my internship progressed throughout the summer, and happy to be staying on as a research assistant during the school year!