My Path to Choosing a Career

741 WordsFeb 18, 20183 Pages
Last year I was a graduate student investigating the structure of enzymes involved in RNA splicing. During that time, I worked long hours in the lab and spent late nights at a computer analyzing data. Today, I am a coach at a junior tennis academy. Now, my mornings are free and my afternoons are filled teaching the fundamentals of tennis to young players as I hope to transition towards a career in law. How did I arrive at this juncture? What motivated me to leave the lab and embark on this new path? To answer these questions, let me first explain what motivated me initially to pursue a career in research. With an interest in science well before college, I entered Emory University as a chemistry major. In my introductory courses I became fascinated with learning how genes function at the molecular level. This fascination motivated me to join a lab studying mechanisms of mRNA export to the cytoplasm in eukaryotic cells, an important step in gene expression. My first project involved a collaboration with a structural biologist working to elucidate the structure of proteins implicated in mRNA export. This work sparked my interest in structural biology, as I was left with a deeper desire to understand how the structures of proteins and nucleic acids correlate with their biological function. Equipped with this newfound enthusiasm, I applied to graduate programs across the country. Hoping to be trained as a structural biologist with a special interest in RNA biochemistry, I chose

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