The ten weeks of the INBRE program flew by faster than I thought it could, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. I was able to learn so much during such a short amount of time and I really loved what I did.
Reading the literature to get me oriented to the rats I was working with took up a large amount of time at the beginning, but this was something that helped me a lot. The more articles I read, the more I was able to understand what they were communicating, and I was able to understand the behavior of rats and my experiment. However, reading about rats could only prepare me so much for being able to work with them and experiencing what I had learned up close. I also spent many of my days cinematizing and scoring videos, but I’m glad I was able to learn how to complete these tasks. There is a good chance I may be doing them again someday.
It was so exciting to start analyzing the data I had scored. Putting them into graphs and seeing the preliminary results felt so rewarding. Putting together a poster was definitely a learning experience. I reviewed it, revised it, then had my peers and mentors review it, and I would revise it again. My final draft wouldn’t have been close to the way it was without the perspectives of those around me.
Before I knew it, I was leaving for the conference. I was nervous for such a new experience, to present my poster for a two-hour period, but at the same time I was excited, eager to be able to share what I had worked on, and what had come from it. Of course, my first few times going through it were a bit rough, but I was able to get past the nerves and really embrace why I wanted to be there - to be able to share knowledge; to be able to share ideas. I received some good questions and the feedback that was given to me was positive and constructive.
The INBRE program is something that I would like to be a part of again. I enjoyed my time working and learning and I’m grateful for what this program gave me.