Your name and what is/was your background (what is your major, why science, etc)?
My name is Jennifer Hartwig and my major was Genetics and Cell Biology. I had always liked science classes in high school, physics and chemistry and so I wanted to do something in the scientific field in college and I took a biology class and became interested in genetics so I chose to get a degree in it.
Why did you decide to join a research lab? How did the experience compare to what you had expected?
I had wanted to join a research lab in my sophomore or junior year in college but I hadn’t found one that didn’t involve work study. I thought a research lab would help my understand concepts in classes better and would give me experience to add to my resume. I didn’t really know what to expect when I joined but I was glad that I did.
What was cool, exciting, or most interesting about your time in the lab?
I thought it was great that I actually got to participate in research and eventually work on a project. I enjoyed being able to learn many different techniques.
If there is something in particular you learned or discovered that you’d like to share with others, please take a moment to tell us about it.
Always, always check the lids on bottles before putting them in the autoclave. Also, science is as interesting as you make it.
If you would recommend conducting research in a science lab to others, what would you tell them to get them interested in the idea?
If you enjoy learning where you can ask questions in a fun and productive environment, I would say working in a research lab is probably a good idea for them to do.
We’d love to know what you’re up to, so please give us a brief description of where you are working or going to school now.
As of right now I am still applying to jobs. In the future I would like to get a professional science master’s degree.
Did the lab experience help you with your classes or your perspective about science? Did working in the lab help you with developing other skills like time management or communication?
Lab definitely helped me in classes and it also helped me with presentations. I would recommend working in a lab just on those two things alone.
Was there anything in particular you would have liked us to do different to enhance your learning or interest from the time spent in the lab?
I can’t think of anything.
Do you feel better prepared for the workplace or future academic endeavors as a result of your time in the lab?
I feel like if I didn’t have experience in a research lab that I would do ok in the workplace, but because I did have that time in lab to learn and actually do research, I feel much better prepared and more excited to start a job.
Any other comments?
Find a way to get different research labs out there or easier to find so students know about them. It was difficult for me to find a lab to work in until that chance opportunity during a club meeting. And lab was great!