Cardiology/pulmonology research assistant.
How I got this internship:
I emailed the head of a lab at Penn Medical School last year and ended up volunteering in his lab throughout the winter. While volunteering, I worked with two M.D./Ph.D.s from the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP), who offered me a research assistant position for the summer!
What I do, day to day:
I am performing laboratory techniques such as qPCR, tissue culture, confocal microscopy imaging, dissection, etc. Additionally, I am able to attend talks to learn more about various aspects of the research taking place at both CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania.
Working in this lab is my first real internship experience, but I definitely hope to intern again in the future! I have been volunteering in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Abington-Jefferson Hospital for the past four years, so I am currently looking for a more hands-on internship position there.
Most valuable part of this experience:
The ability to learn by doing. I have been able to apply some of the skills that I have learned both in the classroom and in the lab at Dickinson while learning new and more advanced laboratory techniques.
Advice for students considering internships:
Network, and be persistent! Originally, the lab that I am interning for was not looking to hire a research assistant, but I was really interested in their projects, so I sent my resume and transcript anyway. I also went to the lab to visit and meet the staff, and now, here I am. You have to go for what you want; don't just wait for it to find you!
How this internship has helped me:
This internship has prepared me for life after Dickinson, because I now have a better understanding of the practices and techniques used in research labs. In addition, I have always been interested in clinical medicine, so it was really interesting to see medicine from a different perspective.
After volunteering in a NICU for four years and interning in a lab focused on neonatal lung and heart development, I hope to continue schooling after Dickinson and eventually work in the field of neonatology.
Published July 29, 2016