Tufts Summer Research Experience

Tufts Summer Research Experience


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cornell Pre-College

Cornell Pre-College

My name is Jacob Jacob Pollock. I am 17. I go to Melbourne High School.
It was like an official, like Cornell summer program where you got actual College credit for doing it. It was three weeks long. So, like the beginning of the summer. And so I was at Cornell at that time because it was before Coroners. I did a social entrepreneurship program.
So it was three weeks basically discussing how businesses. We read books too, as well. But the main idea was how businesses I can go beyond just charity work, helping people rather than working with them. So we kind of went through different organizations. So some of them that we did is we went through Teach for America Organization in America that has people who just graduated College.
They go to high schools to help schools that don’t have as many teachers or done much support. We talked about some outreach programs that were in Africa. We read a book called I Forgot the Exact Time. It was something about Jacqueline Nova Crash, who created this whole organization of micro funds into so just like a huge bank. And then what we did at the end of the course is we created in groups.
We created our own organization so we wouldn’t actually once we left, the call is it would be a little difficult to actually create the kind of like theorized and kind of made a plan. So my group, I was with other students. We made a group, a project called Project in Power, which was to help public schools in the New York City area who don’t have as much after school help and help students who may need that support. So that was what we did at the end of the of the program.
So I learned about the Cornell one probably just I think, just like I knew about the University. So I was just curious about what programs they had. So I would say I mostly got it from the Internet just looking at it.
So the best part of my Cornell program was just being on the College campus, having the teacher, like, accessibility, the professors. It was my first, like, my parents didn’t go to College, so I don’t really have too many experiences about College. So it was actually really nice to be able to be independent, kind of really not relying on high school like your teachers, like your core schedule. It was very much you had to work on your own, which I really liked the independence and also just nice being on a College campus away from a school.
My family, I guess it was nice to have some time off and also being on a College campus site I had not really been to and also kind of learn experiences.
I think the cool thing about summer programs that high school sometimes it’s a little bit. Some of the courses are very general and also they’re restrictive. But for the summer programs that youhave the option to take some interesting courses. There’s no social entrepreneurship program in my high school. That’s not a thing.
Also management, like even business. And my school is very like, they don’t really have any courses. And if it is, of course, it’s quite a joke. So it was nice to be able to have the opportunity to study the during the summer.
I would say that the worst part was and this is probably specific just to my course, because it was very compacted. And the Cornell program that I attended, there were many different other programs. There were tons of people who were doing different programs. My class only had, like ten to 15 kids, which is pretty small, but other classes had, like 30 or 40. So I guess that could be annoying if there were too many people.
But my course is probably one of the hardest. So I definitely spent, like, all my time, like studying in the library, finishing my projects. So it is a lot of work. I mean, sometimes I guess the summer programs could be really difficult. I don’t know if it’s kind of hard because I didn’t really have any expectations beforehand because I didn’t really know exactly what was going to happen.
Anyway. One thing I guess I did not realize is how there were so many different parts. Like, there’s so many different elements of these summer programs that I didn’t really know of. So beyond just, like, kind of the studying the courses, you have the opportunity to do some fun activities. Like I said, you can go on trips with people you can hang.
Like when I was in Cornell, it was during 4 July. So we had, like, 4 July celebrations. We also had, like, a talent show. I guess that was something I didn’t really expect because I thought it was just mostly like, I was only going to the program to learn new information. I wasn’t there that, of course, I wanted to have fun, but I was there to learn something.
So it was nice to have those other activities.
It was a little expensive. So I would say that don’t do a summer course. It’s like, like, you shouldn’t wait. You shouldn’t spend your money on that instead of something, like, really important or essential, because there are some programs, I guess are like, add ons because you could, of course, learn on your own. But I would say that the Cornell one that I did, I think it was especially expensive because it was College campus College food.
We also it was official College credit. So, like, I don’t know if I would go to I went, but if I went to Cornell, they would count for my College credit. So I was like already had a semester worth of credits. So I guess maybe that’s why I was expensive, but I think overall I had a great time doing it. It was much better than just being in my house alone, although that’s what’s happening now.
So maybe it hasn’t used too much, but I think it was worth it. I mean, I wanted to learn something, and I did learn, and I met a lot of new people that I wouldn’t have otherwise recommendation is. Well, do it early. I mean, I if you’re doing the I think by February 19, I think it’s a little bit late. Honestly, I guess it depends.
I mean, I don’t know how the Corona virus that all that Stuff’s been affected because I did this the year before, and I didn’t do any summer programs last year. I don’t know when the deadlines are, but I guess do it early. Get the recommendations done because I got my recommendations done pretty early. I guess you get your writing done both of my courses. I had to write something, so I guess I wrote my stuff pretty early, so I didn’t have to stress about it later on, I guess.
And also spots will fill up. I think a lot of these programs, people. I think people want to learn over the summer. You don’t want to lose all your knowledge. I think it’s good to almost, like, sign up for these courses pretty early, or else your spot is going to be taken.