Hey,Okay, I have a reason for being so behind with stuff. The last two weeks of SURF were pretty hard. I was in lab until 8- 10 pm each night and I had to go in on the weekends in the morning and in the night. So yeah. I have a reason for being so fail. Anyways, I still want to catch you guys up with some of the fun stuff I was able to do before my summer at Tech ended. The weekend of the 6th-8th was really fun! It was nice taking another break from lab and getting to do some fun stuff. On Friday I hung out with friends, on Saturday I went to the beach, and on Sunday I went to Little Tokyo. Fun stuff. On Friday night, I took some FSRI kids to Lloyd and I ended up talking with some friends. Some of them were baking! Here’s Sabrina (left) and Melissa (right) with their banana bread. Okay, it looks kind of burnt on the edges, but it smelled amazing. Throughout the summer, they have been perfecting their baking skills. A few days later I came back to Lloyd to see that Melissa had like 5 breads in her room. She was on a baking spree!
After an eventful day on Saturday, we had another fun day planned for Sunday. We went to Little Tokyo for some karaokeing. Wooo. But first, we had to get there. We made the about-a-mile walk to the metro station on Lake. As you can see, it was a nice day out and it was wasn’t too bad walking over there.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.