My Internship (so far)

Friday, July 06, 2012

I promised some friends that I would (try to) blog about my TTT internship as much as possible. CLEARLY that hasn't happened. I guess I get too caught up in my work and fun, so I wanted to give an overview about my internship for those who are interested in applying for TTT in the future and what I've learned from it and living in a foreign city so far.


THE INTERNSHIP

In the Department of Fragrance & Cosmetics Science at KMU, I'm working on a research project related to skin wound healing and tissue engineering. My mentor/supervisor/professor, Dr. Wang, is usually very busy; he's either on the phone, at meetings, or not in his office. But he's really nice and is always willing to discuss with me about the project when I don't fully understand certain aspects of it. Therefore I learn about the methods of my project from his assistant, Tina, because she started the project before I arrived.

tbh, I came to KMU expecting to work on a research project actually relating to fragrance or cosmetics science. But I guess it became more of a "expect the unexpected". One of my internship co-workers is working on skin whitening, which is what I totally expected my internship to be focused on, but the grad student working on that wouldn't have been able to teach me the methods because I arrived during KMU's finals week. So skin wound healing and tissue engineering? Seems more like a project for dermatologists, no? and the funny thing is that I don't like biology, but I've learned so much in 2 weeks of interning. Actually, now that I think about it, part of my project is related to cosmetics science because I'm working with collagen, hyaluronic acid, and gelatin, all of which keep skin looking young and healthy!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, we have a meeting every Thursday where everyone in Dr. Wang's lab presents the data they collected that week and/or makes a presentation on journal articles related to their project. This is so people who work on the same project can better understand what they're doing and share their understanding of it with co-workers and Dr. Wang. I hate Tuesdays thru Thursdays just because of the need to make a presentation by Thursday. It's pretty stressful because Dr. Wang has high expectations and I don't want to look like an idiot in front of everyone. My internship co-workers were extremely stressed about making and presenting. One of them had to pause and take a deep breath at one point in the presentation because she was so nervous :( But just to put it out there, other KMU interns don't need to make presentations.

I get off work at about 6pm. However, I usually finish the day's work by about 3-4pm, and even before then, I tend to have a good amount of free time. Working with biology related research means (1)Work for a few hours, (2)Wait & chill for a few hours, (3) Repeat for the rest of the day. In contrast, I've heard from other interns working in the KMU hospital and other departments that they get off work at exactly 6pm, and sometimes even earlier. No one dictates when I can go home for the day, but my internship co-workers and I want to be reasonable aka just get off work between 5-6pm if there's nothing else to complete.


MY INTERNSHIP CO-WORKERS
I've been talking about them already, but I guess now's a good time to introduce them. In TTT, most internships are done without a partners. Those that accept 5+ interns are typically ones where you teach English. My internship co-workers/partners are Athina and Faith. Both are so nice and really fun to be with. Athina's Taiwanese, from Greece (born & raised there), and studying in the UK. How cool is that?! Faith is Filipino and from San Diego. Athina is in the TTT program and Faith is in an internship program created by her school.


LIFE OUTSIDE DA INTERNSHIP
This might not be surprising to other people, but I didn't realize that there would be interns from other programs until I got a roommate my first week at KMU and found out that her school, Stanford, has an internship program at KMU. But it's fun because I make friends from different locations around the States. Actually, I've also met a new intern who is from Spain, and last night I met another intern who's from Ghana.

After work, I like to meet up with a few people to get dinner. They are SOOOO many small restaurants and street food to buy around KMU! The buildings of the school is basically laid out on a giant grid, so there are many small exits/entrances around the school. In fact, Carrefour (it's like a Walmart), the movie theater, Starbucks, and a 7Eleven are right across the road from the front of KMU hospital! :D

Even though I'm good with conversational Chinese, and even though there's English in some places and on menus, I find that it's best to go with someone who can read Chinese when it comes to food and traveling. In the beginning of my internship, I didn't know anyone besides Dr. Wang, Tina, and Fred. But I was able to have fun because I had a Kaohsiung native (Fred) take me around. After I met other interns, I got to go to more places since I was in a group of friends.


I'm so excited about this weekend! I'm in Taipei right now with my group from TTT (11 people total). Practically everyone in my group is interning in Taipei and wanted a get together this weekend. But yea, gonna be lots of fun!! Far East Movement concert at Luxy! ;D


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1 comments

  1. ahh don't have time to read this yet cuz im going on a trip right now but have fun!!!!!!! ttyl!!!

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