Internship Series: Pfizer

Brian ChirnBrian Chirn internship
SAR/CAS ’18 | Health Science & Biology
Summer Intern/Research Assistant

CCD: Tell us about your internship experience. What were your responsibilities? 

Brian: I worked in the drug discovery and internal medicine department on a team of several scientists. During my time at this internship, I optimized a functional assay which tested cell surface expression for GCPRs. I planned and carried out experiments, graphed data, and analyzed trends.

CCD: What is one challenge you encountered during your summer experience and how did you manage it? 

Brian: One challenge I encountered during my internship was that my experiments wouldn’t work out! But that’s part of the scientific method. During this frustrating time, I sat down with my supervisor and we troubleshot potential steps I could improve upon. In the end, with thoughtful backtracking, we were able to produce data that was presentable and significant.

CCD: What was the most memorable moment of your summer experience? 

Brian: When I was preparing to leave I needed to organize all of the data I had collected over the summer for the next person to pick up where I had left off. After organizing it all, I sent it to my supervisor and I was shocked at just how much progress I had made in my short time there. It was really rewarding knowing my work will be continued even after I leave.

CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience? 

Brian: One thing I learned from this internship was how important asking for help is. As the newest employee, it was often hard figuring out where certain things were, or why my data wasn’t turning out the way we expected. But people around you want to help and this was a valuable lesson I learned.


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