Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bringing my 109 skills across the pond

This summer I will be traveling to Imperial College in London to work in the Molly Stevens Lab. Molly Stevens was a Post-doc in the Lager Lab, and her lab at Imperial now has over 80 people in it. I will be directly working under a Post-doc on a cartilage mechanobiology project. hmmm. sounds like my current UROP. However, I think I will actually be looking at cartilage/osteoarthritis from more of a Course 3 perspective, so that will be interesting. I am not completely sure what exactly I will be doing in terms of specific experiments. I hypothesize that some of my 109 skills will be useful.

What 109 skills will I bring across the pond?

Most importantly, I will bring an open mind. For me, 109 required an open mind, ready to learn new methods/techniques/processes every class. I am guessing that I will not know the lab specific procedures, however as an experienced 109 student I will keep an open mind, not get easily frustrated, and learn new things! yippee learning is fun.

I will bring the ability to work with a lab parter/lab mate. I think that I will be working very closely to the Post-doc I have been assigned to for the Imperial Exchange. I will need to be in constant communication with him about who is doing what, when and how. In my UROP I pretty much work by myself, so the whole lab partner concept was new to me in 109. I am used to working with teammates through athletics, however this does not directly translate to science. 109 definitely taught me how to successfully work with a lab partner to optimize the time and effort of each person in the partnership.

I will bring my newly acquired presentation skills! I am guessing that at some point over the summer I will be expected to give a presentation on the research I have conducted. In 109 we spent a lot of time learning how to give effective presentations and how to make clear slides. I think that I have learned a lot about presenting through 109, and I will take this knowledge with me to London.

Lastly, I will bring the skill of keeping an updated lab notebook. When 109 began, I was a little hesitant on using Evernote. I am not sure if I like Evernote now, however I will say that it is a useful tool to organize notes and have them all in one location. Because I will be learning lots of new things in London, I will need to keep a detailed lab notebook, or I will forget things. The act of keeping an updated lab notebook may seem annoying, but it is critical.

I'm ready to cross the pond now.

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