I can’t believe that the eight weeks of BSURF are already over. Although on a day to day basis it sometimes seemed like I wasn’t learning much, looking back over the experience as a whole, I realized how much I really learned. I think the most valuable knowledge that I can take away from this experience is knowing what a career in science really entails. Throughout the summer I came to the conclusion that having my own lab is probably not a path I want to pursue, but I have come to enjoy the process of research, the challenges of analyzing data and asking questions to better understand biological processes. There were definitely challenges along the way, but I learned that is just part of the research process. Very few, if any, projects go exactly according to plan, and the interesting part of research is figuring out new experiments and approaches to best answer the research questions. Of course I also learned a lot about computational biology, although I still have so much to learn.
The other part of this experience that I enjoyed the most were the faculty seminars that we had three mornings a week. Although I loved hearing about the different types of research that is happening on the Duke campus, it was most helpful for me to hear about the different paths that each professor took to reach where they are now. As someone who came into this fellowship hoping to get a better idea of what my goals are for the future, it was beneficial to get an idea of opportunities for researchers, outside of academia. I also got to hear about subjects that I previously hadn’t considered much, such as evolution, and this has opened my mind to possibly pursuing a different field of study. Overall, BSURF was a wonderful program that opened my mind and gave me a wonderful introduction to research. Last of all, thank you to Jason, Dr. G and Trinity College for making this experience possible!