I can’t believe the summer is nearly over and I’ve come to the end of my internship. I’ve learned so much over the past three months, and really enjoyed the time I spent in Dr. Lyon’s lab.
At the beginning of the summer, I hoped to accomplish five things. I wanted to acquire wet lab skills, gain experience working with a lab team, get an idea of what I’d like to do in the future, take full advantage of the learning opportunities presented to me, and improve my critical thinking skills. I’m happy to say I met all of the goals I set out for myself. When I first started I didn’t even know how to hold a pipette, but by the last week I was running entire PCRs (which involve A LOT of pipetting) on my own. I learned about mouse handling, microscopy, and Western Blotting, and brainstormed and collaborated with a team each day. After hearing about what Dr. Lyon had to say about medical school, grad school, and M.D./Ph.D. programs, I have a much better idea of what I’d like to do- right now, I’m thinking about an M.D./Ph.D. program. My critical thinking skills improved vastly, and I took full advantage of the resources provided to me- I read a countless number of articles and books this summer.
Moving forward, I would like to continue my involvement in research. I loved the challenge each day, and would like to get involved in a lab at Tulane or return to Dr. Lyon’s Lab and CSHL next summer. I’ve become a lot more confident in my capabilities as a scientist, which will help me wherever I end up next.
Having completed this internship, I want to continue learning about intellectual disorders and mechanisms of disease- I’ve learned I’m really interested in these things. I’d also like to assist with clinical research to see whether I’d prefer a wet lab research or medical research based career in the future.
I would advise a future student interning with Dr. Lyon to take full advantage of everything he is offering. This experience was what you made it- if you choose to sit in the office all day you probably could, but the more you read about, ask about, and volunteer for the more you’ll learn. Dr. Lyon is an incredibly insightful man and a great teacher, so I’d advise a future student to ask him anything they want to know about careers in science or his work- he was always happy to help me and I learned so much just by speaking with him.
Coming in, I knew science and engineering was male dominated. Many of the other primary investigators I met were male, but I also met a lot of female scientists and graduate students- in a few years, the ratio may even out as more and more women decide to pursue careers in science. I would advise females looking for leadership in the work place to never be afraid to share their ideas, opinions, and insight. I struggled with this in the beginning, especially because I didn’t feel like I knew enough to share an opinion, and that any apprehensions I had were simply because I didn’t know as much as everyone else. I’m happy to say I’m more confident in my ideas, which in turn has made me a better leader, problem solver and citizen.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity I had to work with Dr. Lyon this summer, and for the Newcomb College Institute for making it possible for me to have this experience. The grant money I was awarded allowed me to have an educational and inspiring summer, and I am incredibly thankful for this! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.