I know it is September already and you haven’t heard from me since May! Usually, summer is a break from business and stress of the school year, but I have actually been more busy this summer than ever before! We better start catching up quickly…
If you keep up with my posts, you know I like The Carrie Diaries, *almost* as much as I like Taylor Swift! (I’m big on strong female role models.) In the show, high schooler Carrie Bradshaw is offered an internship in the city, where she travels once a week. Imagine that experience, but Monday through Thursday for a whole month doing research for a doctor. That’s where I’ve been!
I got accepted for an internship through Magee-Womens Research Institute, an amazing research facility dedicated to furthering the knowledge of women’s health in Pittsburgh. For the internship, I had to dedicate four weeks of my summer to do work for my mentor, a very intelligent doctor who has years of experience in research. She was just beginning a new project, so I helped collect data and connect main points in the form of a concept map.
Unlike Carrie, I did not take the subway. Instead, I drove the 35 mile stretch alongside other workers trying to wake up with vanilla coffee and loud music (that was what I was doing, at least). Periods of fast-paced traffic and crawling along the highway with thousands of other cars made me realize why they call it rush hour!
Once I got to my parking spot, I caught a shuttle to get back to the area of the city dedicated to medical schools and hospitals. Because of the previously-mentioned rush hour traffic, catching the shuttle was a challenge. If I caught the last bus, I knew I would have to practically run up cardiac hill after getting off at my stop to get to the office where I worked. (I would go into more detail on cardiac hill, but I think the nickname gives enough explanation.)
It was scary sometimes while driving, fun sometimes when I could explore the city on lunch breaks, stressful sometimes when I was behind schedule, but exciting all of the time.
I met new people, connected with amazing doctors, and was immersed in a field I want to study in the future.
Overall, my internship was a little taste of being grown-up. I wore business casual, had my own parking pass, talked to nice nurses on the shuttle, and was fully responsible for myself and my job.
I am grateful to my parents for allowing me to experience this opportunity and to Magee-Women’s Research Institute for accepting my application. I 100% recommend all high school students to look into summer internships in a field of interest. You never know how much you can learn outside of school in four short weeks.