Transcript

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i’m allison harton i’m from milburn new jersey

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i’m a senior this year and then so i did it’s 
called tufts summer research experience and i

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did it the summer after my sophomore 
year so i guess two summers ago now

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i found that program because i really wanted to 
do something that like involved research like

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science research um and like really hadn’t done 
anything like that before so i wanted like kind

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of a structured program to go with it um but this 
one was like a very kind of free program and that

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like it was sort of what you made of it um and 
so you applied to the programmer and were matched

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like specifically with the tufts lab um and then i 
was actually the meyer the year i did the program

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was the first year of the program so it was kind 
of like just starting out um but so i was matched

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with a lab and a graduate student that i worked 
with and i was actually the only high school

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student in the lab there were like maybe 10 or 20 
like somewhere between 10 and 20 different labs

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that people in the program were placed in um and 
it was really just like it was a six week program

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five days a week we went into the lab and worked 
with the gra i worked with the grad student um

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and then kind of at the end of the program it 
was like culminated in like this poster session

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that you know almost everyone in the program kind 
of had a project that they worked on like start to

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finish and so we all at the end like presented 
the different research projects that we did

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the food at tufts was good um it was like one 
dining test i think has maybe two or three

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different dining halls it was just one that was 
open to us um but it was you know totally fine

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um they were open for like three meals a day 
and it was pretty good food um and then in

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terms of the social part of it um so my program 
itself was pretty small i think it was like

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25 to 30 of us but tufts has a lot of like 
pre-college programs um and we were kind

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of all staying in dorms together so 
there was a large group of people to

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um kind of do things with and they did 
a really good job of just like having

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different activities every night um especially 
at the beginning when like we didn’t know anyone

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um and it was you know very relaxed and that like 
if you wanted to come to these like the organized

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things you could but you definitely didn’t 
have to um and like the way they organized it

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um we kind of within like the dorm that we 
stayed in each floor was like a group of

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i think it was like eight of us um and we were 
kind of like our ra group for the whole program um

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so like socially it was a lot of fun just because 
like we did a lot with that group in particular

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that like closer group um but then there was also 
like lots of opportunities to kind of meet people

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and do um do other things with kind of a larger 
group of people in different programs there

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the best part from me was like i found this 
program because i wanted to do research over the

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summer and like i definitely felt like i did that 
it was really cool because i was pretty much for

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six weeks working directly with like she was a phd 
student in the lab and i was like you know by the

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end i had this project that i was able to say like 
i had worked on and like a poster that i had my

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name on and everything like that which was really 
really cool um and not necessarily something i

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realized when i was researching the program that 
like it would be so kind of individual like that

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worst part of the program i guess was like we 
did have every afternoon we had to go to like

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these seminar type sessions where it was like 
they went through things like how to do you

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know or like how to use um like databases 
or like citing sources or things like that

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which like you know none of us really had wanted 
that out of the program it was kind of we all did

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it to do research and like there were a lot of 
days where i would would have much rather like

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stay an extra hour or two in the lab but instead 
i had to go back to go to the seminar class

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that wasn’t exactly communicated test beforehand 
um again though i know that you know my year

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was the first year they did it and i know they 
got a lot of complaints about those classes so

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it’s possible it’s changed a little bit since um 
since then just because they were kind of working

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everything out um so that was just kind of a 
little bit of a disappointment just because i

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you know that wasn’t really what i wanted out 
of it but it definitely wasn’t like such a big

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deal that i would advise anyone not to do 
it because of that or anything like that

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i think a couple of things like one thing was it 
was a six week program um which a lot of them were

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not that long and i kind of liked the idea that 
it was like you really could see a project from

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start to finish instead of like just coming 
in for a week or two here or there um i also

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i mean this was more in terms of just like 
kind of social like fun summer stuff to do

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um but i really like like tufts is right very 
close to boston um which is really nice because

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like a lot of weekends you know we take the subway 
into boston and like be able to spend the day

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there um which like i’d say especially over the 
summer when like you’re looking at least i was

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looking for like something fun to do also that was 
really nice um to kind of have that as an option

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um and i mean i also what i really liked about 
this program and was sort of unique in that like

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as i was researching i didn’t see a ton that were 
like this was that like so i was the only high

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school student in the lab which meant that like i 
pretty much got whatever attention i needed like

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it wasn’t that they were like splitting you know 
between 10 or 12 different high school students

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who were all trying to learn like different 
techniques and everything like that it was

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kind of whatever i needed you know they were there 
to help me and i was there to help them in any way

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um and i just thought it was a really cool kind 
of way to first of all get like an individual

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relationship with like these different professors 
and grad students um and also just kind of i

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thought i was able to get a lot more out of this 
program because it was like really just me in the

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lab than i would have if like again there were 
you know um it was like a more kind of structured

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thing with like 10 or 12 or however many different 
high school students would have been in the lab

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it definitely was an expensive program but for me 
i do think it was um and i think largely because

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so after you know i did that organized program 
and then since then i’ve been able to like reach

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out to different professors at like there’s a 
um there’s one i’m actually working with now at

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dartmouth who like when i emailed him i said you 
know i have all this experience from that summer

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um so like you don’t need to train me in all the 
basic like the lab basics so i really could just

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like come in and help you with whatever you need 
which i think was really nice and it made it much

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more likely that like someone like him would 
be willing to say yes to me doing work for him

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because i kind of had that background um so i 
mean it definitely was expensive but i kind of

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think going forward like having that foundation 
and those skills will definitely be worth it

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for me i think a big thing was um i i think i 
started looking into programs like maybe even

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in october like sometime in the early fall um so i 
kind of had an idea of like what i wanted to apply

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to even before a lot of these applications opened 
um which i think for me was really helpful because

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like i pretty much as soon as the application was 
open i had my application ready to go and send it

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in um and i think because i sent it in so early 
i was really able to get like once i was accepted

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i was able to get kind of first pick of the lab 
that i wanted just because they hadn’t filled up

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any other spots like that um and like i know i 
had a couple friends there who you know actually

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had wanted to be working in my lab but because 
they applied later they were offered you know

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another lab that was less interesting to them that 
like you know they still ended up enjoying but

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it wasn’t exactly what they wanted um so i 
would say just like my big advice would be

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get the application in as soon as you possibly can 
um just because like the spots do fill up and like

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you know it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t 
be accepted um but you’ll have kind of a much

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wider range of choices of like where you actually 
end up which lab you actually end up in which is

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definitely a huge part of the program um 
because a lot of it is so like individual and

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dependent on the professor the graduate student 
you’re assigned to i do think i definitely got

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lucky with the lab i was placed in um i had 
some friends there who like you know their

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professors weren’t as kind of willing to work 
with them or like they got a grad student who was

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not really in the middle of such an exciting 
project or any or something like that

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i mean other than that it was a fairly 
straightforward application process you

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know there’s like one or two essays that you have 
to write but nothing that’s such a big deal um

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but yeah i’d say definitely my big 
advice would be to get it in early

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you