Another week, another few things learnt…
1. TECHNICAL SKILLS
This week things got technical, I was pretty busy in terms of actual work load this week inside the lab. I definitely expanded my skills and competency around the lab and feel a lot more prepared for my final project that starts in the autumn.
Being a working scientist requires you to be good at so many things in order to be successful. You have to be efficient with time, good at communicating, writing, maths , I literally can’t think of a skill that doesn’t get used by the guys in the lab on a weekly basis.
Unless you’re insanely superior to them, nobody trusts you with their samples, work or equipment. They’ll literally watch you like a hawk even if you’ve done the protocol a million times or it’s basic work – expect to gain a shadow for the period of time you’re in a lab.
Scientists love a bloody meeting. Although, they definitely differ greatly from what i’d consider a meeting. Every meeting i’ve been to has pretty much been a series of presentations from individuals within the same lab and then from the broader department. There also not mandatory (at least not in my department), but i’d definitely recommend going. It’s a really great way to meet other people who you don’t directly work with, and to gain a broader idea of what’s going on with other people.
I’d definitely say this week was much more realistic in terms of what my life would be like if I was to do a PhD. It’s a pretty lonely life and has long working hours, your life is near enough dictated by what your experiment requires from you. Although you get two weeks of holiday, barely anyone in the lab has taken it because funding has a time frame and nobody wants to work for free. I’m really not sure if i’m ready to put my life on complete hold for the sake of protein assays and staining cells.Maybe it’s something that comes with maturity and age, who knows…