Have you ever thought about working in a lab while studying your Master? I bet you have! Well, this is exactly what I am doing at Karolinska Institutet!
A normal day as MTLS student
We have lectures almost every day, usually starting at 9 a.m. We might have a full day (until 3 or 5 p.m. with one hour lunch break at 12 a.m.) or a part day (only lectures in the morning or in the afternoon). There are also some few days when we do not have any lecture, which are mostly allocated for study, prepare group assignments, or to listen to online lectures. Below there is an example of one week schedule:
As you might realize, studying at Karolinska Institutet, also implies a lot of individual and group work. For example, this semester so far we have had to prepare and present a scientific poster, asssit to seminars and then write a review, prepare a Journal Club, etc. And of course, studying for the exams! Many hours at the library, as well!
On the other hand, it’s well known that lab work is very time-consuming! Currently, I am mainly doing cell culture techniques and Western Blots, and, sporadically, I run some live-cell metabolic assays! The cell culture and the metabolic assays can be done in some hours, but for the Western Blot it takes me two full work days!
Balance (and coffee, loads of coffee!) is the key
As you see, there is a quite a lot of workoad. Thus, trying to balance the lessons with the lab work is not so easy and it implies a lot of dedication. I usually go to the lab right after the lectures, where I might stay until late in the evening. I make the most of the non-lecture days, when my classmates might take time to prepare their exams or to relax; I am probably in the lab (or maybe writing this post! Or even studying!!!). Weekends can also be very useful, if I need to finish an experiment that I started late in the week, or just put my data all together.
Multitasking in a multidisciplinary environment
My workdays are very long and exhausting. So, why do I keep on with studying, working and being a Digital Ambassador (among other things) all at the same time? Simply, because I love being busy! I need to do different things during the day: it is actually very good to do some manual activitites (lab work) after sitting for hours in a lecture hall. It helps your mind to forget about everything by focusing on the pipetting!
There are many other reasons why I would recomend to work in a lab while studying at KI. Here I list some of them:
- Improve your lab skills
- Learn new methods and techniques
- Be part of a research project and contribute with your results to it (that is very exciting!)
- Get to know researchers from all around the world!
- Have amazing collegues/supervisors, devoted to science and eager to teach you everyday
- You get to have fika!! (You definitely need to know what that is before coming to Sweden!)
- It’s good for your CV!
- Master Thesis is coming… and you might need a Research Group for that!
- And… you make friends for life
This is what I can think right now, but I am sure there are many others!
Contact me for any further questions:
Linkedin:Carolina Savatier-Dupré Bañares
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