Starting My Own Project at PennVet

This is the next in a series of posts by recipients of the 2018 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they’ve been spending their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Guadalupe Ceja, COL ’19

Internships serve an important role of giving students a taste of what a career in that field would entail.  You meet mentors that will guide you and make connections with other people trying to climb the same ladder of success that you are.  In scientific research, an internship can really give you an understanding of what aspect of biology you are interested and are passionate enough to dedicate long hours of trying to study and understand.  However, biology labs depend heavily on grants and outside funding and thus do not always have enough money to pay undergrads trying to get laboratory experience. As I began searching for a lab at Penn Vet that fit my interest and was willing to allow me to start my own project, I began to realize that I would have to find my own source of funding for summer housing and food in order to take the amazing opportunity to work at a lab doing research in inflammation in multiple sclerosis in humans and granulomatous meningoencephalitis.  

I quickly started learning several lab techniques such as immunohistochemistry, histology, flow cytometry, and tissue cutting.  I have worked with the pathology department at Penn Vet, seen cerebral spinal fluid extraction from dogs admitted into the hospital.  I have had the opportunity of attending conferences and listen to veterinarians present their cutting-edge research. I have an active member of the lab, attending lab meetings and collaborating with my lab mates and aiding their projects.  I got to work as a team but also experience pushing my individual project forward.

These opportunities to advance my experience and knowledge would have never been possible if I wasn’t given help from the Career Services.  I have always had to worry about having a work study, which takes time away from my academic advancement. Because of the Career Services’ grant,   I was able to remain in Philadelphia and focus on my research instead of my bills and for this my academic experience that much better.

 

By Carol Hagan
Carol Hagan Senior Associate Director, Graduate School Advising Carol Hagan