In the final few weeks of my internship, I created, edited and presented a summary of the research I’ve conducted and have garnered various skills, during one of our weekly meeting. Throughout this process, I learned the tactics and methods of presenting scientific research in an engaging and informative manner. With the help of my mentor, I created readable diagrams and charts and practiced my public speaking skills that included visually appealing powerpoint slides. I felt that concluding my internship by presenting what I’ve done to all the people who’ve supported me in the lab was a very appropriate summation of my summer.
In these past three months, I have evolved greatly as a scientist, student and educator. I’ve learned that research requires an exceptional amount of patience, determination and articulation, but, it can ultimately be very rewarding. I’ve spent many days troubleshooting our behavioral experiments or coding scripts before succeeding (though very frustrating). The patience and focus I’ve developed from this activity will transfer to other aspects of my life, too. I also learned how to read journal papers efficiently by deciphering graphs, extracting the main findings and analyzing presented data objectively. Lastly, I learned, from observing my mentor and teaching younger interns, like myself, aspects of how to be an effective STEM teacher.
The scientific knowledge I’ve gained from the journal clubs, lab meetings, and conducting literary research coincides well with the contents of my neuroscience class. I feel like I have a head start in my upcoming fall semester courses with this background. My lab studied various neural circuits and active brain regions that underlies depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and learning abilities. Through this internship, I was able to recognize and pick which specific topics intrigued me and what research questions could potentially develop into my own independent research project. I am looking forward to continuing my research experience at this lab, during the school year and next summer, while evolving further as a neuroscience researcher.