STEP Experience ________Undergraduate Research________________
|What? – A detailed description of what you did during your STEP experience.
For my STEP experience, I was part of the undergraduate biomolecular research team, OhioMOD, here at Ohio State. We developed and executed a research plan in which we attempted to find out if sequestering a specific miRNA in leukemia cells would heal or kill them. Once the actual research itself was completed, the team presented our findings at the international BioMOD competition at Harvard. There we received a gold project award for our research.
|So What? – A personal response to your STEP experience, including feelings, thoughts, judgments, and what you have learned about yourself and your assumptions from what you did and how you reacted.
While very challenging, I greatly enjoyed the time I spent on my project. Countless hours were spent reading research papers and and waiting for experiments to finish. At times it could be trying, but it was still a positive experience thanks to the other people I was surrounded by in the lab. I gained valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in the lab about my research topic and many of the other projects being performed. I never used to think that I would want to do research as a career, but my experience has proved otherwise. The research papers can be a bit of a turn off, but the hands-on aspects outweighed it. I was also able to gain more confidence in my abilities and public speaking skills. My research team had to present our findings at a conference in Boston, and speaking in front of strangers had been something that I was afraid to do. Thanks to the support from my team and constant practice I delivered my part of the presentation with ease and have since been able to give presentations much easier. Eventually I think I can overcome the fear completely.
|Now What? – Discuss how the things you experienced and learned during your STEP experience will affect your academic, personal, and life goals moving forward.
From my experience, I have been able to further refine my academic and career goals. Before participating in STEP, I was pursuing a degree in chemical engineering with no specific plan of what I should do after graduation. There were plenty of things I could try to pursue with my degree, but it was too overwhelming without a chance to narrow down the options I might enjoy. Since I haven’t been able to secure an internship to help with that, STEP helped me look into research. I most likely would not have tried undergraduate research because of the unpaid aspect, and STEP helped me through that. Now I am currently pursuing a biomolecular focus within my major, and after graduation I would like to attend graduate school to obtain a masters in biochemical engineering. After all of that, I believe I would like to pursue a career in research and development for a biotechnology/pharmaceutical company which is very similar to the work I did this past summer. My overall goal can be summed up as I want to help people through the advancement of medicine. I can fortunately say that my STEP experience has had nothing but a positive effect on my future plans.