Receiving my monogrammed white lab coat was a rite of passage for me. It represented the confirmation that I’ve entered a world where I can scrupulously investigate the delicate intricacies of the brain and nervous system. It’s a world where I witness firsthand the transformation of raw ideas, that were once a mere hybrid of curiosity and prior knowledge, into pending solutions for the tribulations that plague humanity. Eight researchers in my lab are female. These intelligent, passionate women are beacons of achievement in their respective fields. Their example both challenges and humbles me. They invest in my scientific future through every moment they spend with me. I hope that someday I’m able to repay that investment by further proving the point that women belong in laboratories and scientific institutions, where they can excel. I would like to banish, once and for all, the misguided mindsets about where a woman’s “place” should be. In the meantime, I’ll be in the lab.
Once I decided what my future career should be, I drew up a plan on how to achieve this goal. I believe that having a goal is essential for success, as one can hardly achieve something without understanding what needs to be done to bring you to the desired result. Thus, I determined the grades that I would need to get into the school that I wanted to attend, and the amount of money I would be required to pay for my living expenses and classes. After this, I worked with everything I had to achieve these goals. Never once did I think of giving up, even when the universe seemed to conspire against me.