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My Experience as an undergrad intern in this 2016 RMSM REU

Imagen de Alberto E Serrano Vargas
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Preparing samples for NIRS analyses

Participating in this summer’s RMSM REU has been a very productive experience thus far. The opportunity it’s given me of conducting research and having my own project to procure and develop has made an impact in my professional life and aspirations. Also, the scientific communication workshops, the soft matter seminars and even the social activities offered by this program have all been enriching. In addition, the people I’ve gotten to known and share with during this past month have also been key to this fun and constructive adventure.

The research project that was assigned to me focuses on pharmaceutical engineering. Before being accepted in the program, I always was very interested in pharmaceutical engineering and particle sciences before the program. Unfortunately, I’ve hadn’t had enough time to dedicate a semester for research in this area. However, by putting to practice what I’ve learned so far from my undergrad courses in pharmaceutical practices and research has defined my career interests and goals. Pharmaceutical applications has always been an option for me. Now, it’s an option that has even more importance.

The seminars and workshops have all been great and very informative. These resources have helped me defined myself as a more mature STEM undergraduate student, specifically the scientific communication lectures. I’ve been getting a lot of practice on scientific and technical writing the last few days. I'm glad that the program administration and the mentors make sure that you get enough practice so that you can develop your writing skills.

Something I must mention in this blog is the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know so far. People who are so eager to meet you and motivate you so that you can succeed in a professional as well as in a personal aspect. In this REU, I’ve met great people from Florida, Maryland, Georgia, New Jersey and Colombia. Even though I’m a local student participating in an REU here in Puerto Rico, it feels like a multicultural experience. It’s so fresh and interesting having people from different parts of the occidental hemisphere collaborating in scientific research as well as sharing their own cultures and traditions. It’s definitely a once in a life time experience. Also, as a Puertorrican I’m very proud of my culture and heritage. That is why I’ve given myself the task to inform my American friends of all the fun stuff they can do here in the island. June has been a busy month in and outside the laboratory, but I hope that during July my REU partners and I can share more fun experiences this summer.