Monday, July 23, 2012

Discovering Myself A Little More

Pharmacology class was yet another informational session. We started off the morning with a trip to the computer lab. My group has been doing really well in creating our grant application for our research project. Although the project is complex and requires a lot of researching and revising, I’m really proud of my group’s progress. Today we particularly worked on our study design, the steps and interventions needed to complete this research project. I know our three different minds can produce something interesting and exciting.

Antibiotics, is the single most important discovery of the last century. Today we learned about this very special drug. Unfortunately, bacterial infection is a major cause of death in the world, however, antibacterial is responsible for saving the most lives. It’s just amazing to know how science plays a huge role in society.

The best lunch ever! Preview days are the best!
We took a step back to review all we learned about drug development. In drug development there are the three D’s: discovery, design, and delivery. In discovery, you must identify what your goal is and what you want to develop. Then you must design the drug, enhancing its effectiveness. Lastly, the drug must go through a clinical trial. Only 1 out of 10,000 compounds make it to the market as a drug. The other 9,999 compounds are tested as orphan drugs to treat diseases that are rare. I may not want to actually develop a drug, but it is interesting to learn how everyday medicine is developed.

I fell in love with zumba last time, so I decided to do it again today during our free time. A group of girls gathered and walked pretty far to get to the recreational center for zumba in the large dance room. I learned that zumba is actually a combination of latin and hip-hop dance. It was so much fun, and I had a great workout! 

This is our last week at VSA and they have packed our week with a variety of activities. This evening I attended a Personal Etiquette workshop lead by Cynthia Washington, who works at the Vanderbilt University Career Center. I am thankful I took this opportunity to gain knowledge on how to present myself to colleges and jobs in the future.

Here are just a few of the tips I learned:

Email Etiquette: Always remember to type a concise subject, address the person using “Dear Dr./Mr./Ms./Professor”, avoid “To Whom It May Concern”, use complete sentences, no text language, sign your email using “Thank You, Best Regards, Sincerely”, and remember to proofread and check your spelling.
Email Address: Avoid cute names, and rather stick to your first and last name. It is advised that you create a new email before you begin applying to college.
Online Presence: Colleges do track down your social media, so make sure you edit or remove any content that is inappropriate, and rather leave things that may attract college admissions. Anything you post online should be professional.
Creating A Resume: There are 4 sections: contact info, education, work experience, and extra-curricular activities. High school resumes should only be one page! College admissions only glance over it for 20 seconds, so if it’s lengthy they won't even bother reading it. Do not place a section to list things you are good at; it’s better to incorporate it in your experience or extra-curricular section.
Elevator Pitch: At college fairs, or when meeting college admissions people, you should be able to tell your story, highlighting your education and experience in 20 seconds or less.  Be confident, give a good handshake, make good eye contact, and overall make a good first impression.
College Fair:  At college fairs, you should dress for success, have resumes handy, and dress appropriately. Concisely, ladies should where a knee length skirt, blouse, and closed toe shoes. Men should wear slacks, a dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes.
Thank You Notes: Always remember to send thank you notes via email, to show your appreciation for their time to talk with you. It’s good way to follow up with them and leave a lasting impression.

In one of Vanderbilt's antique, but beautiful buildings!
They say it’s normal to change your major a few times in college. My experience here at VSA is already influencing my possible careers. As of now, I’m leaning a little more away from becoming a doctor, and more towards counseling students. I love interacting with other students, and I want to work in a field where I can help them. Whether it be a college advisor or even a child therapist, my mind has expanded to consider new possibilities. I’m excited as I search myself more and as I continue to explore what’s out there in this world.

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