Songhao Wu Blog
The summer of 2017 was the best summer I have ever had. I made my summer this year unforgettable by being a GLBRC summer research intern. My goal was simple when I first got in this program: Do bioenergy research and gain lab experience for graduate school. I was in the Shade Lab at MSU to do research focusing on switchgrass phyllosphere microbiome, I learned much more than what I expected at the beginning.
The first thing I learned was that having a strong motivation is very necessary for research life. Only with a strong motivation to solve unknown questions can a person succeed in doing research, or he/she will be bored and even give up because a significant part of research is repeating. When I did DNA extraction, I had to repeat it multiple times to get all samples successfully extracted. When I inoculated bacteria, it took days for streak plates to grow well and every sample needed the same procedure to produce a result. My motivation was that I like research topics related to bioenergy. It keeps me excited whenever I think about it. My motivation made me willing to work through the difficulties, and it will support me all the way through my career. Also, I liked the people in the Shade Lab; everyone was nice and willing to help. They helped me have good days during the summer. My lab manager, Keara, set a strong example of a good lab member and guided me every day. My PI, Dr. Shade, always gave me valuable advice. I realized that a nice working environment is so important because lab mates are those who I will spend the most time with if I go to graduate school.
Besides all the lab work, I also made lots of good friends. I liked everyone in our GLBRC group. We went ton field trips together to see places like an anaerobic digester, Holland State Park, and Kellogg Biological Station. I even went to Canada with my group mate, Alek in our free time. This summer was really a fantastic journey for me to see and learn things that I never experienced before. My program coordinator, Chrislyn, is the kindest person I’ve ever seen. She helped me with everything during the summer and talked about things I needed help with. I really felt that I was home this summer.
2017 summer is a memory staying in my mind forever. I wish I can come back in the future.