And just like that, B-SURF is over. These past six weeks I’ve learned a lot about myself and the things that interest me. I came into this program not knowing what I wanted to do in science, just that I wanted to be a scientist. After spending six weeks hearing about my colleagues’ struggles in the lab moving small amounts of colorless liquid from tube to tube, I’ve decided that wet-lab isn’t for me.
At the beginning of this program the general vibe I got from people was that they felt sorry that my lab work was all virtual. Now, after going into the lab twice to make nanoparticles, I can say that I prefer coding over staring at tubes any day. I also didn’t have to deal with the frustrations of cells/organisms dying on me the day before data was ready to be collected, or the monotony of pipetting samples for hours on end. Throughout this program I was constantly engaged with my work. It was up to me to design the software pipeline for my project. I was given a task by my mentor, and it was on me to implement the features he wanted. One of the challenges that I’ve struggled with most being a self-taught programmer was finding confidence in my coding abilities. I knew that I knew how to code and problem solve, but other than stock problems I had no means to apply my skills. This program was exactly the push that I needed to give me the confidence in myself that I can accomplish problems put in front of me. As the second half of summer, and a condensed semester of organic chemistry, looms ahead of me, I am excited to say that I will continue with my project in the Reker lab. I still need to implement a machine learning model that will hopefully accurately make predictions in nanoparticle formation for me. I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I’m thankful for this experience allowing me to narrow down my search for what I want to do.