My experiences in the lab this past week have educated me about the process of going to graduate school and pursuing a PhD. With the GRE approaching in a little over a week, many of the undergraduates in the other labs have been furiously studying during every free moment. Most of the students are seniors at Brown and plan to go straight into graduate school or take a gap year. Hearing about the upcoming test and application process has been very interesting. I especially enjoyed talking with people that are applying for MD/PhD programs. Although a dual degree is time consuming and quite demanding, the programs sound exciting and I may consider them in the future.
Throughout the summer, I have also learned about the process of completing a PhD. When I started working, one of the lab members was completing his final experiments and getting ready to write his thesis.The preliminary draft of the document was due this week. Everyone was very excited to see the culmination of his five years of hard work. Soon he will edit the thesis and defend in front of his committee.Unfortunately, I will be back at Cornell and will not be able to watch the presentation.
Additionally, I have continued to enjoy watching the new project unfold. Because so much is unknown, every result is crucial and leads to new ideas and conclusions. I have also seen how difficult it is to hypothesize the function or role of a protein out of thin air. It is unfortunate that I only have one week left in the lab. I would really like to see the project come to fluition.