Nikita Trimbake is a first year Biotechnology grad student (NYU Tandon ’17). She is currently volunteering as a research assistant at the prestigious Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s disease and the Aging brain, Columbia University. She completed her undergrad degree in Pharmaceutical sciences from University of Pune. As an awardee of the WCIG, this aspiring young researcher shares her opinions on why it is essential to secure grants and the challenges she faced while pursuing her research.
Best part of winning WCIG: The Grant itself. Research can be unpredictable, in terms of outcome and duration. It is also a wise decision to secure as much financial support as possible. With finances taken care of, it became easier to focus completely on my work.
Challenges and rewards: The course of research is essential to be predetermined but also needs to be amenable till some extent. For the same, analyzing the methodology and trouble-shooting are crucial and were my biggest challenges. I was expected to perform animal survival surgery, which demanded skills, precision and a lot of patience. Alongside I completed few on-site trainings and online classes. Dedicated practice and study helped me fulfill the work demands with ease. Overall, it was a very enriching experience for me. Understanding the research, scientific thinking and asking questions in broader scope of the study are the highlights of my time at Columbia University.
Advice: Go for it! I think the process is pretty easy to comprehend. Selection being highly competitive, I would recommend to start working on the essay answers before-hand. Always keep your rationale behind choosing the particular internship very clear. That will get you the brownie points!
Survival tips 101: Ways to optimize finances is mostly an individual’s choice. Firstly, cooking at home is essential. Try to utilize as many free resources as possible which are provided by the university. Summer is a great time to explore the city. If wise enough, it can be done without spending a single penny. Purchasing a metrocard is indespensible, so make sure you plan ahead for the amount. And most importantly, don’t hesitate to flash your student ID with a big grin on your face and ask for discounts.
The Wasserman Center Internship Grant was established to provide financial assistance ($1000) to students pursuing non-paying internships within not-for-profits, the arts, education, public service and other industries that do not traditionally pay their interns. For more information, the application and eligibility criteria can be found on NYU CareerNet under Job ID #1040560. The application deadline is October 6th, 2016 at 11:59pm EST. Please keep in mind this is a competitive process.