As the program draws to a close, it feels surreal that I’ve officially entered the world of academic research. I still remember the vague fear I associated with working in a lab, and while I’m still adjusting to it, the support and guidance that the BSURF program has provided is truly immeasurable.
These past 7 weeks have been an amazing learning experience. As someone who’s interested in a non-traditional field of science, it’s been reassuring and inspiring to witness all the work that goes on in the world of bioinformatics. Between the weekly Zoom calls with Dr. Allen and the faculty talks and workshops, it’s incredible to know that every little tidbit of advice I’ve received is from a world-class researcher.
Perhaps most importantly, I’m glad I got a chance to dive headfirst into a research project this summer. With this type of learning-by-doing experience, I realized that I actually enjoy the unpredictable, open-ended nature of research that had intimidated me so much initially. I didn’t expect science to have so much room for creativity — the process of self-learning has been transformative, and it’s been a blast bouncing ideas off of other people. As expected, this summer wasn’t without its struggles. We’re still waiting on the data needed to complete our project, and that process has been longer than expected. In the meanwhile though, my mentor and I have explored side projects with the data that we do have, which has been an adventure in and of itself.
To conclude, I’d like to thank the people who made my BSURF experience so rewarding. To Dr. Andrew Allen, thank you for taking me under your wing this summer. Your mentorship has been invaluable to me both as a student and a researcher, and I can’t wait to continue working with you. To Drs. Grunwald and Harrell, thank you for going out of your way to run BSURF for just one participant, not to mention remotely as well. I cannot thank you guys enough for your flexibility and willingness to support me every step of the way. BSURF has given me an opportunity to start my journey in the research world, and it certainly won’t be the end.
Until next time.