If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up. Priyanka shares her wonderful experience of internship days.
One year into college in Bangalore and I was at the ivy covered hallowed halls of Harvard University! After writing a zillion emails to the most erudite people on this planet, I had finally got into the Laboratory for Advanced Biomaterials and Stem Cell Based Therapeutics at the Harvard Medical School.
One word: WOW! I entered lab on Day 1 to find the most complex equipment, all whirring away developing results for Undergrad students, Graduate Students and well of course Nobel Laureates two of whom were standing right there! (Being overwhelmed is probably an understatement). It took me about an hour to get used to the fact that I am going to be seeing people like this almost all the time.
The nicest thing that I learnt on Day 1 was that all of these people regardless of the fact that they have the most prestigious awards, are the most normal people you would ever find. We talked about books, movies, politics and Science. No airs and graces whatsoever. One would think that the atmosphere in a place like this would be super strict. Let me to tell you – we had some of the most fun times in lab. Be it celebrating a person’s birthday or doing experiments with headphones on! The more you feel at home – the more relaxed you are and the more productive you become.
I had already drafted out my course of work before I came to the US and therefore knew exactly what had to be done. I was to work on localized and on demand drug delivery from self assembled nanofibrous gels for the prevention and recurrence of brain tumors. I worked closely with scientists, clinicians and industry representatives. I was taught a dozen techniques during my first week by different graduate students who are my friends even till date. The Principal Investigator of the lab spent a lot of time with me providing invaluable guidance and I ask for his advice even today.
Any free time that I had I spent in the most amazing library filled with close to 10 million books. When you are in a place like that – you want to take advantage of everything it offers for an overall great experience. I must add that trekking, para sailing and cycling did take up some time too! The people I met were infinitely helpful and went out of their way to make my stay there brilliant. The kind of experimental techniques I learnt, to the kind of Science I did to the kind of people I met – absolutely fabulous!
The one thing that ran through my mind almost all the time was – “You are doing research at Harvard!!” and that made me catapult into sponge behavior – to learn as much as possible. This internship has helped me pave the way to my destination here at the Johns Hopkins University.
If Priyanka’s experience motivates you, you can check the latest international internships.
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