An intern for a chemistry laboratory, senior Amna Yaqub, was a part of an opioid surveillance project, where she not only analyzed data and prepped samples but she also learned interesting rules and regulations regarding government jobs and overdose reporting legislation.
Being a biochemistry major, this chemistry laboratory internship was right up Amna’s alley. Some of her everyday tasks included creating spreadsheets with drug names, molecular weights, and structures and preparing samples to be analyzed by mass spectrometry.
“I didn’t know there are so many different forms and kinds of opioids,” she said.
One of the most interesting parts of this internship for Amna was that she was able to learn about a variety of different opioids that she didn’t even know existed before working in this chemistry laboratory.
“I learned a lot about rules and regulations in government jobs,” she said. “I have worked in academic and research labs so it was interesting to compare a different kind of lab to my previous experiences.”
Not only did Amna take away important skills that will assist her in her future career endeavors, but she also learned about legislative aspects of opioids while working on this project. This was a different but interesting experience because she usually only works in research labs.
Amna’s advice for those that are starting a new internship is to be patient. There might be times where it seems that there aren’t many tasks to do, but nothing goes unnoticed and as you continue in your opportunity, there will be more tasks to do.
“I wish I would have known that it takes a little while to really get going in your duties,” she said. “I would tell others to ask questions and for help if you need it, and ask for work or if you can help someone out if you have nothing to do.”
Amna believes she will be able to take everything she learned from this experience with her. She plans to attend medical school.
“Opioid policy and background will definitely be important in my future career.”