One Tiny Story Related to My Past Research Life
This tiny story happened just after my graduation from college. During that summer, I was “kicked out” of my dormitory in the previous university and had to move all my stuff to the new university where I got admitted in their graduate program. At first, I was quite excited to start a new graduate life focusing on scientific research. However, as time went by in that summer, I found everything was so different compared to my previous undergraduate life. For starters, you were the newest person in this research group and should adapt yourself quickly to this new team. The research facility was about 3-h drive to my university, meaning there was no teachers or advisors for me to ask for guidance. All I could do was to mingle with my seniors and got direct help from them, including designing my first reactor, purchasing my first pump and chemicals, taking my first sample, etc. During this process, effective communication skills were really important since I needed to get tons of new information about my new project.
One day in that summer, I needed to buy some air pumps, pipes, and air stones to set up the aeration system in my new reactor. I had no idea where to purchase them, but as a graduate student, I should have the ability to figure all things out. So at first, I contacted with one engineer in my research facility to discuss the air pump type based on the requirement, he immediately gave me the address to the local distributor. The first puzzle was solved after I hurried to the local distributor with one of my senior. For the air pipes and stones, I actually needed to go back to a fish market near my university. After spending 3 hours on the road, I finally went back and got all the components for my aeration system. The weather is really hot in the summer, and all my clothes were soaked wet. This process was really time-consuming and exhausted, but the experience was rewarding. I was thrilled by my own work within one week and learned how to build something from scratches by fully utilizing all the resource around you. Effective communication skills with people around definitely helped me a lot during the whole process.