With my internship at Gervay-Hague Lab at UC Davis coming to an end, I am very happy to see that I have met my defined learning goals. I certainly learned a lot during this 10-week period, and I will use everything I have learned in my classes and future research.
My academic goal was to use what I learned from performing research in Gervay-Hague Lab to become more adept in my Chemistry and Biology courses, and to be able to reference my lab experiences with these courses. I have no doubt that everything I have learned this summer will help me in my two remaining lab courses: Advanced Materials Chemistry Lab & Advanced Organic Chemistry Lab. Additionally, the synthetic chemistry I performed over the summer will even help in my Medicinal Enzymology course since I will be able to understand what steps go into the synthesis of a new drug.
My career goal was to further explore what field of Chemistry I would like to go into for a job as well as graduate school. After researching this summer, I am not sure exactly what area of Chemistry I am most interested in. But, I am very happy that I got some experience in Chemical Biology, so I can further consider this as a potential career path.
My personal goal was to learn how to communicate my research to others through posters, papers, and in person. I have certainly learned how to communicate my research through group meetings, keeping my lab notebook, reading relevant articles and posters, and discussing my research other people in the lab on a daily basis.
Some things that changed about my goals during my internship were that I think I should have created lab-related goals in addition to my academic, career, and personal goals. But, since I did not realize this at the beginning of my internship, I decided to make a list of lab accomplishments instead. Some of these include:
- Became familiar with lab techniques such as dry transfer and the use of MestReNova, an NMR analysis program.
- Learned to use various lab apparatuses such as argon chamber, oven, microwave, rotovap, MPLC, and NMR (1H, 13C, COSY).
- Learned how academic labs work and what it’s like to be part of a PhD program.
This is the main lab that I worked in, the synthesis lab. It consisted of the MPLC, the argon gas, an IR machine, and a microwave. Additionally, the TLC station was set up in the hood, and reactions were run in this room.
Although I have learned a tremendous amount at my internship this summer, I think I can summarize it into four main things:
- Working a full-time job (nearly) is quite difficult and very different than working and studying in college.
- It is very rewarding to be given a project, work tirelessly on it, and see it through.
- Planning is crucial in all different fields.
- It is amazing how much can be done day-to-day and week-to-week researching in a lab, yet how long it takes to come to distinct conclusions.
This summer, I am most proud of beginning to research in a lab, something I have wanted to do for quite some time now. I am also very proud of all the hard work I have put into my research and that I have learned so much during my 10 weeks at Gervay-Hague Lab!