July 18, 2017
This past summer, I had the opportunity to participate in a 3 month summer internship at Procter & Gamble in Mason, OH. It was the fastest, most exhausting, and yet most rewarding summer of graduate school. Not only did P&G assist in my relocation, they had numerous networking opportunities for the summer interns, including baseball games, riverboat excursions and a day-long celebration of science and intern involvement at their general office in Cincinnati. I had the pleasure of working with the research and development team led by Dr. Timothy Baker, who has long-standing connections with Dr. Nicholas Oberlies and Dr. Nadja Cech. I was assigned to a project where I compared different preparations of botanical dietary supplements using mass spectrometry techniques that I am familiar with here at UNCG, along with new methods specific to P&G. My coworkers made me feel like a valuable part of the team; they allowed me the freedom to plan my experiments and had confidence in my data and ability to do research. In a way, I felt like a real, grown up scientist! The mass spectrometry capabilities at P&G are cutting edge and I felt honored to essentially have my own instrument, but the wealth of knowledge held and shared by the researchers was the most outstanding part of my internship experience. All of this was made possible by my F31 NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship and UNCG’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Dr. Nadja Cech decided to include an internship into the F31 grant, and Dr. Timothy Baker agreed to facilitate the process. I am so thankful that this graduate program allows for internship experiences! I feel so much more prepared for graduation and planning my career now that I got to learn about the industry side of medicinal biochemistry, and I now have a more concrete idea of what kind of career I plan to pursue upon finishing my PhD.