By Travis Schofield

My decision to graduate early was not one made with ease. It was heavily contingent on one question: How can I get the most out of my time? I felt it was the right decision, though, when I was offered an internship at ABPDU through the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) Program

As I approach the end of my internship, it is hard to believe that such an adventure could transpire so quickly. So much has happened, and I’ve learned so much. Throughout my undergraduate education, I studied biology with the intention of proceeding to a career in medicine. The work in which I have been involved with at ABPDU appears quite different on the surface. Indeed, I have never worked so intensively with the science of biofuel production.

There is an exceptional atmosphere of collaboration at the ABPDU. I have worked as a member of a team on many occasions in the past, but none of my previous experiences had necessitated such coordinated team effort. The work being conducted in these laboratories are too gargantuan in scale for a single person to perform. This was my first experience with research that not only benefitted from collaboration, but demanded constant cooperation and coordination with team members to achieve greater goals.

In addition, teaching and learning is pervasive here. Every person here has the opportunity to learn something new, and to pass on the knowledge they have from their own experiences to other team members. I feel that this continuous exchange of ideas and teachings is what makes the collaborative structure of the ABPDU so strong.

Even thought my future appears uncertain, my semester at the ABPDU has been undoubtedly well spent. I feel that the lessons that I learned here can be applied to any career, and every intern fortunate enough to receive this wonderful opportunity will certainly grow and benefit from it.

I will miss the amazing people at the ABPDU, and I will be forever grateful for their generosity and teaching.

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