I have learned a lot at RTC. How to operate a flocytometer. How to wash glassware in hydrochloric acid without ruining your clothes (hint: wear a lab coat). But I think the most valuable skills I have aquired thus far are more difficult to demonstrate, but far more valuable.
This internship is not school. The environment is entirely different and so is the protocol. The change in responsibility from being treated like a child at school to like an adult at Romberg is enormous. They do not hold your hand. They don’t check up on you to make sure you are okay. There are safety nets, but you are expected to behave responsibly and display a minimum level of competency.
This is scary at first. There are some expensive machines there. But you learn quickly: not running to an adult every time something goes wrong or doesn’t make sense, finding the answers to problems on your own, and being okay to work alone. The sense of autonomy and self-empowerment you get after realizing you can do this is incredible. Definitely worth it.