As I begin to wrap up my summer internship, I started to reflect on a few things during my time as a senior pediatric epilepsy research intern. Prior to starting my summer internship, I defined a few learning goals that I set out to accomplish. I wanted to learn the basis of status epilepticus and encephalopathies. I learned this by taking lessons on how to read EEGs, recognizing different classifications of seizures, and learning how to read various EEG reports. Research-wise, I aspired to utilize PowerChart and REDCap and help research assistants enroll patients in clinical studies throughout the summer. By working hard on various projects and seeking mentorship from experienced members of my lab, I was able to achieve all of my goals. In addition to these goals, I was also able to mentor and train the summer interns as well as participate in the fall internship application process. Both of these experiences strengthened my skills in leadership, professionalism, and learning how to stand out among a pool of highly qualified applicants.
As stated in my previous blog post, this internship has reaffirmed my passion for going into medicine. Working at Boston Children’s Hospital and getting to know the patients and their conditions inspired me to take more interest in career fields such as pediatrics and neurology, which I would like to learn more about in the future. While I was able to learn how to conduct various tasks, I was also able to learn more about myself in the process. From this experience, I learned that I like clinical research, leading a team, and learning more about how epilepsy manifests.
If I could give some advice to a student interested in this internship or internships in clinical research, I would advise students to apply to as many internships as they can and not be afraid to ask any questions throughout the process. I find it important to really be involved in a lab that studies what you are interested in! This makes the learning process super fun and motivates you to learn more! While in the process, is important to be knowledgeable about the internships you are applying to. This means you should read more about what research the lab is involved in so you can demonstrate your interest during your interviews. Some essential qualities to have if you are interested in clinical research those such as having strong leadership skills, collaboration with your team, respect for the patient’s privacy, and being flexible with different changes of plan.
This summer, I am most proud of learning how to read EEGs, successfully completing multiple projects, and utilizing leadership skills to mentor the summer interns. I am also very proud of being part of a team that is striving to implement new changes in the lab by advocating for more equitable resources for all backgrounds within the hospital and the academic opportunities currently running. I am excited to have been given the opportunity to continue to work in the lab throughout the academic year and learn more about epilepsy research. I am very grateful to the Loddenkemper Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Hiatt Career Center, and my family for believing in me and constantly supporting me throughout this internship. I am sad this summer internship is coming to an end, but I am so happy to continue to be part of the Loddenkemper Lab and help make a difference in the field of epilepsy research. See you next time!