Junior Thomas Schodl was looking for an internship that would help him grow his skills as a scientist and he found that through the Amgen scholars division located at Washington University.
The program began June 1 and ended Aug. 5.
The program focuses on cultivating skills for undergraduate students to become graduate students. According to Schodl the program felt like a peek at what graduate school could be like.
“I was looking for prestigious research institutions to spend my summer at, ‘cause I thought that’s where I’d get the best training.” Schodl said.
Schodl’s project was looking at the effects of opioids on the respiratory system. Schodl chose this topic because he wanted to widen his skill set.
Schodl said the hardest part of the program was adapting to working a full time job while balancing other life responsibilities. According to him, it got overwhelming at times trying to keep track of everything.
Regardless of the challenges he faced, Schodl said he would go back and do the program again if he could. Schodl said the program has given him a lot more confidence and made him a more capable person.
“Being the first person to study this and everything you’re finding is something that someone didn’t know prior to this experiment, to me, that’s very interesting and a driver for me,” Schodl said
Schodl worked with a group of 17 other people and shared a room in a residence hall with other members of the program. He said it was a great environment because of their shared interests.
“I definitely remember the people I worked with in the lab that made it such a safe environment to make mistakes and be relaxed and joking,” Schodl said.
To Schodl, science is a creative outlet and a way to help people. Schodl said he appreciates the structure of science in academia – being able to mentor and be mentored.
The programs helped Schodl decide that he wanted to go into research in his future. He said he wants to be actively involved in making discoveries.
“I feel a lot more confident in general not just with my abilities as a scientist, but also the direction I wanna take in my life,” Schodl said.