Pharmacy Pre-Grad Intern Katie Lee

Katie LeeFirst of all, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to take part in the IE Internship. I believe this past academic year was my toughest so far, but one part of it that I would never change was this chance I took hold of in the fall 2008 semester. At the beginning of the school year, I was very interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy. I didn't have much experience, but I was determined to make the most of my year. So when I read about this opportunity the summer before, I figured it couldn't hurt to try. After a few emails, I soon found Dr. Maria Croyle in the Pharmaceutics department of the College of Pharmacy, and mostly worked in her research lab for the semester.

When the opportunity for the IE Travel Grant arose, my mentor suggested the 12th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy, held in San Diego, California in late May. I applied and received the IE Travel Grant, while in the mean time applying to pharmacy schools all around the state of Texas that Spring 2009 semester. After almost half a year after I applied, I am excited to say I was accepted into all four colleges where I applied, and I have decided to attend the UT College of Pharmacy in the fall of 2009.

Growing up, my family has not had many chances, financially and time-wise, to travel very far. So during this trip, I was able to experience a lot of "firsts" in going to this conference. Not only had I never been to a scientific conference like this before, but it was also the first time I traveled by myself on an airplane, the first time I took a taxi, and the first time for me to hear about all of the innovative research done in the field of gene therapy from overwhelmingly great minds from so many different countries. As someone relatively very young at the conference and new to the field, I didn't understand a lot of what was going on, but what information I did understand during the seminars was very impressive nonetheless! One thing I realized and that impressed me was that the research going on in this field is an international, world-wide effort. And just being there and learning about all of the research made me feel like I was getting an exciting sneak peak at the future of medicine. As nerdy as that may seem, it was truly an exciting thing for me!

As a student, I have always experienced anxiety when it comes to talking with teachers and professors, but this internship and traveling opportunity also helped me ease that stress, and grow closer to a professor who I am actually going to be taking a class with this coming fall! This never would have turned out the way it has if I hadn't taken part in the IE Internship or IE Travel Grant. IE has definitely helped change my life.