As I packed my luggage in preparation for the summer of 2010, I had very little idea what was in store for me as a participant of the Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP). Upon arriving, I learned the summer would be full of research, mentoring, and informational seminars aimed to help the SROP participants apply to, attend, and succeed in graduate school. What I wasn’t aware of was that the summer would also give me a fantastic opportunity to become familiar with the campus, as well as with Ann Arbor. Throughout the two months of SROP, I discovered some of the many opportunities available throughout the town, such as salsa dancing, the Summer Festival and a wide array of delicious restaurants, while learning how to think and conduct myself like a graduate student. The program culminated in the creation of a poster describing my summer’s research, which I presented at a conference with students from other schools’ SROPs. Packing my luggage to head home, I was genuinely sad to leave behind my summer research project, as well as the town of Ann Arbor, and hoped to have the opportunity to return as a graduate student.
A few months later, I was on my way back to the University of Michigan for my interview weekend and found myself overwhelmed with a sense of coming home. When the time came to make my final decision about where I would attend graduate school, there seemed to be no real option other than the University of Michigan. I knew I would get a world-class training as a scientist at a university that I already knew and loved. My time as an SROP participant allowed me to experience and appreciate the life of a researcher and helped me realize that research was my calling. With the help of SROP and SROP’s staff, I was able to confidently apply to and begin graduate school, and I am so thankful I was afforded that opportunity.
About the Author
Victoria Holden, First Year PIBS Student, 2010 SROP Participant
Published in: Student Voices