Gained lab experience, forged friendships and preparation for graduate school

“I was able to gain experience in a wet-lab and apply the knowledge gained in the classroom in a laboratory setting.

The challenges I faced stretched me outside of my comfort zone, but this experience has made me a better scientist.

Living in a new place can be scary, but my fellow CardS participants were able to bask in the new journey with me, and we were able to forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

The programs offered by CardS on GRE prep and a panel of graduate students were also resourceful.”

“Outside of my time in the lab, I grew very close with the other students in the program. From going out to planned activities in St. Louis such as a Cardinals game, the Arch, and the City Museum to spontaneous walks in Forest Park, dinners in the apartment, and movies at night our group quickly became friends.

A major take away I had from this summer was that perseverance is one of the most important qualities in a successful researcher.

Additionally, I grew in self-confidence and belief in my ability to succeed in research when I am in graduate school.”

Gained research independence and confidence

“Overall my experience is in the lab forced me to change my mindset from undergraduate to graduate, from teamwork to independent was quite a challenge.

I learned that in graduate school you are expected to hold your own and expectations are high, and mistakes are expected.”

“The most valuable skill I learned this summer is the difference between lab research and undergraduate studies.

However, being in the lab, I learned more about the pace of research and how questions guide researchers to more questions and inspire further curiosity about the world around me. 

After this summer, I feel far more prepared in applying and pursuing graduate studies. I now know that I am capable as a researcher and that research is something I am truly passionate about.”

“I learned lots of novel research on hearts and got the chance to lead my own project.”

Improved on and applied technical skills

“I was able to apply my knowledge of microcontrollers, based on C++-driven Arduino concepts, to the lab’s native National Instruments data acquisition (DAQ) system.

I learned more about 3D printing to create the physical joystick design and fittings for the reward delivery.

To connect the software with the physical hardware, I also learned how to design and fabricate computer components, such as PCB boards, through the software KiCad.”

Project time management and visiting other facilities

“The most memorable moments during the summer are the visits to St. Louis cortex and med school zebrafish center. The first visit gives me an overview of how labs outside educational institutions work and operate, which is very helpful to me because I eventually have a desire to work in industry and probably start my own bio-tech company.

The biggest lesson learned during the summer is a deep understanding of how to conduct and participate in a project and arrange time properly. This summer experience simulated the research environment and will be very helpful for me in the future because I plan to pursue a PhD after graduation.”

“I also was able to take part in professional learning experiences through the CardS program. I got to visit various locations of startups and other labs to see more of the research going on outside of my lab.

I got to learn about the way research is done by participating in projects at various stages of completion. I also got better time management skills and work environment skills.”