Going for the Gold

Layla Budin ’17, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia



Internship title:

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.

Previous internships:

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.

Post-Dickinson plans:

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.

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Published July 29, 2016