My lab book...I update regularly.

Hello!  The past couple of days I have been repeating experiments to try to find a new marker for the endothelium cells.  Hopefully my experiments today will have some positive results.  But other than my experiments, I wanted to share some knowledge I have learned about graduate school, if any of you are considering it.  First, the most important thing is to stay organized!  In research, keeping a good notebook is critical.  As you can see in my notebook, I turn the protocols into tables so it is easier to read.  It is also good to stay up to date on your notebook.  I try not to go a couple of days without updating my notebook else I will forget what I did. My mentor mentioned how some graduate students turn their notebooks in with a different language!  This makes it difficult for the others in the lab to pick up on the grad student’s work.  Good thing I only know English.

Graduate students will also first go through rotations of labs before they choose a lab to work with for the entirety of their schooling.  Most people say to just find a lab that their research interest you.  However, what I have learned is that you want to find a lab that not only interests you, but also you get along well with the other people in the lab.  Having a great mentor is critical to succeeding.  You want them to be available to talk with when you get stuck on a problem.  You also want other graduate students and post docs in the lab to be collaborative and willing to help each other.  Finding the right atmosphere is probably the most important thing when choosing your lab!