Tell us a little about yourself and your research project.
I am a Junior. My major is psychology and my minor in Biology. This summer, I participated in the Charlotte Research Scholars program and worked with faculty mentor, Dr. Yan. I wrote a literature review on the functions and mechanisms of APOBEC3 in genome integrity and cancer biology.
How did you first find out about undergraduate research opportunities at UNC Charlotte?
I found out about the undergraduate research opportunities at the Atkins Library. I was in the library when I noticed the office of undergraduate research. Then I set up an appointment with Dr. Banks to talk to her about my interests in doing research.
How has your research experience prepared you for your next goals or career?
My research experience has helped prepare me professionally for graduate school through attending professional development workshops that went in-depth about how to be competitive for graduate school. As a result of having a positive experience in the Charlotte Research Scholars program, it then encouraged me to apply to the OUR Research scholar program to do research during the academic year.
What advice would you give students who are interested in pursuing undergraduate research and what would you say to a student who says, "research is not for me"?
My advice to a student that is interested in research is to first identify the area of research that you are interested in and align it with your career goals. Then after that, you would need to email faculty members that are doing research in the field that you are interested in to see if they will allow you to work with them. If you need additional assistance, make an appointment with a member in the undergraduate research office and they can help you with the next steps as well. Additionally, in the fall apply to summer internships that focus on research in the career you want to go into which will allow you to get more research experience as well. If you feel that research is not for you, I would say that you have to try doing it first to make that conclusion because I believe that research is a great opportunity that every student should partake in at least once in college.
What is one thing that you learned about yourself from this research experience?
I learned that I do not have to allow my limiting beliefs to stop me from being great. At the start of the internship, I was nervous and wanted everything to be perfect. But as time went on, I realized that making mistakes allows me to experience growth. I was able to get great feedback from my faculty mentor about my presentations and writing skills. I believe that all of the things that I have learned from my research experience will prepare me for graduate school.