Internship Experience of a Biochemistry Student @ Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Centre of Biomedical Research Research, Delhi: Became immune to immunology!
This is submitted as an entry to the Noticebard Internship Experience Writing Competition.
Name, College, Course, Year
Khushboo, 1st year UG Biochemistry Hons from Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Centre of Biomedical Research Research (ACBR), University of Delhi
27 May to 15 July
How I applied
Having just completed my first year, I never expected to get selected. Since summer breaks are too long and boring, I wanted to utilise them fruitfully, so I applied through the registration notice of SURP 2019 (Summer Undergraduate Research Programme) released on ACBR’s website. A write up on ‘What interests you in Sciences’ along with CV was required to be posted on the given address. I felt blessed being selected over so many applicants.
Standing on the dias, reflecting upon the presentation of my learning journey of the past month was truthfully hard yet fulfilling. I am a first year undergraduate student pursuing Biochemistry hons from Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi and I interned as a research trainee at Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Centre of Biomedical Research Research (ACBR), University of Delhi.
Boarding my journey of the first-hand experience in research, the first day was a blast, both negatively and positively. It shot up as I wasn’t given the lab of my choice.
However, the curtains raised with a very informative opening lecture by Dr. Shantanu Sen Gupta (CSIR-IGIB) giving us an insight of research. It was followed by refreshments and allotment of labs.
Though unhappy with the lab, I received a warm welcome by the PhD students, making us very comfortable with the working environment.
However, the rest of the day went in vain, sitting at the computer and reading research papers. A few days passed with eyes set on the screen. I started feeling useless.
But once I had an interaction with my professor, with his natural ability to make me digest the topic, I got the hang of the concepts of this new subject. Gradually, the experiments began with the aim of learning “Basic Immunological techniques” by working on bacteria that causes Tuberculosis. Slowly and Steadily, I got immune to immunology.
I realized the importance of reading literature in the initial days. However, I felt the work culture was very slow and the mentors were taking trainees as a burden. It was disheartening to know that the rate of the research is not keeping pace with the changing world.
Besides the lab work, we had 2-3 lectures every week delivered by eminent researchers across the country. Some bounced off my head but I was able to grasp the essence of research.
On 12th of July, reports were submitted, presentations were given and somewhere in between, the dust of nostalgia diffused everywhere. Along with useful techniques, insightful lectures, so many friends from various colleges and states including my fellow interns, post graduates and Phd students in the institute and my cooperative professor, I’ve filled in a lifetime of memories and life lessons in my bag of the internship experience.
The cherry on the top was the provision of stipend of INR 2500 which relieved me of the financial grunt of lodging.
The curtains winded up with a very refreshing closing lecture by Prof. T. P. Singh from AIIMS, followed by the valedictory ceremony, refreshments and photo session.
The mentors bade us goodbye with a decent cake cutting ceremony in the lab.
“It’s just the beginning towards a yet undefined destination,
So, why not enjoy the journey and savour the gustation.”
Accommodation and Commute
I stay at a pg in South Delhi, while the research centre was in North. Perhaps ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘Percy Jackson’ had been very wonderful travel partners during my long metro rides.
About the Author
Loved my student life, love talking to students now. I am a wearer of multiple hats (wife, mom, cook, chauffeur). My job is my hobby! :)