Being at Duke as opened me up to a plethora new and exciting experiences, one of these opportunities being the Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship. For the summer, I will be working within the Department of Immunology, specifically in the Hammer Lab. This will be my first experience in a laboratory. During the program, I hope develop knowledge about working within a lab, but to also learn about myself in the process.
Over the course of the summer, I hope to learn whether or not research is for me. Ever since I was in high school, I wanted to pursue a career in research. I felt that doing research would be the best way for me to use my skills to make a difference in the world. During this summer, I will be assisting my mentor with her research project, giving me plenty of hands-on experience within this field. Working in a lab everyday is the perfect way to figure out if this is something that I would to continue to pursue.
Working in the lab this summer will also teach me how to ask questions. There are times where it can be intimidating to ask a question, whether it be to the other people in the lab or to yourself. Asking questions is the key to gaining new knowledge and growing intellectually. I hope that while I work in this lab, I will become more comfortable with asking questions about things I do not understand. Hopefully, this will not only make me a better research scientist now but prepare me for future success.
As mentioned by one of the other BSURFers in our opening breakfast, working in a lab can show you what it is like to fail and what to do after failing. I had never really considered this idea beforehand but it is something that I would like to learn. Not every experiment will go the way you expect it to. Your research will not always point to the conclusion that you expected it to. The question is what do you do afterwards? What further questions do researchers ask? It will be interesting to see how these questions will be answered within the lab.
This summer will be full of ups and downs, but I am excited to see where it will take me. I look forward to meeting and working with talented individuals during this program.
I am ready to dive into the world of research!