Sometimes I wish I had been a TAD bit more selective who I shared this blog with…because when I have “bad” days I want to blog about that too. And I have to censor the things that I say because… real life.
But today, I’m making the executive decision to keep it 100 on this post today.
A few people have asked me what’s the difference between U.S. labs and European labs. From my experience thus far, I think European labs are more “sink and swim” – which definitely exist in (the more prestigious) U.S. labs, but over the years I’ve learned that when I transition into a new environment, I like a mentor to show me the ropes and slowly transition to full independence. Personally – I think it’s the most efficient way to do science.
On the other hand, I see the advantage to the “sink or swim” approach because it teaches you to be an independent thinker and take control of your project early on.
It’s not my cup of tea, but that’s the cup I’ve been given lol.
Today was a particularly frustrating day because I had some experiments planned for the week and because of contamination, miscommunication, etc. I basically wasted my time. I won’t go into details because I shouldn’t. I just want to share that I was *very* upset today, and that’s real.
The training that I’m getting will make me an even beastlier scientist and now that I have an idea and I’m learning what the expectations are in the lab – I can adjust and go with the flow.
That said, perhaps the lesson of the day is – when joining a new lab, think about the day-to-day tasks, how you like to be mentored, your biweekly or monthly goals, and how you’re expected to achieve those. I think if I had known this would be my experience from day one, the transition would have been much smoother (not that it’s been difficult).
And luckily for me, I know the majority of the techniques in the lab from prior research projects. I’m not sure how I would fair in this environment if that were not the case and I don’t think I would have made as much progress as I have thus far.
Anywho, that’s all for today. I’m good, all is well. I’m learning to be assertive, aggressive, forceful, and out-spoken. All good traits to have in the world of STEM.
Plus, I love to swim.
P.S. I’m meeting with my advisor tomorrow so I’ll be sure to discuss my concerns and some of the challenges that I’ve faced to come up with a game plan so that I can be as productive and successful as possible.