Help Wanted?

Jan 31 2011 Published by under Mentoring

Since I had such a positive experience last year with having Genomic RepairGirl as high school intern last summer, I think I'm going to mentor another student this summer.  And keeping with my belief that promoting in women in science should be a priority, I'd like to take another female applicant.  Genomic RepairGirl wanted to come back to my lab but I refused her on grounds that she should try out another lab this summer to broaden her experiences and skills.  Besides the mechanism that funds their stipends is centered around getting students access to science, letting them see how hypothesis driven research works.  So it would be nice to give a fresh face and opportunity to have this experience.  So here is the position description in case you were interested in being mentored by the Genomic Repairman.

Job Duties include:
-Actually giving a crap about what you do and are not just here for the paycheck.
-Attention to detail.
-Waking me up from my naps that I take in the dark room.
-Upon adequate training assuming all my responsibilities for cell culture. This is a time sink for me and its a testament to how much I trust you to let you manage my cells.
-Beer runs for me (if you are a college student above the age of 21).
-You must entertain me with stories of how difficult it is to choose between watching Jersey Shore or Teen Mom if they are on at the same time.
-Don't mind being laughed at by me when you ask to be my Facebook friend. It took me 5 years to friend my sister and you think 10 weeks of indentured servitude is going to get you into my exclusive circle of friends that includes the girl in high school who stood me up for a date and later got pregnant by some bucktooth motherfucker that worked in the Dairy Queen in my town? Puleez.
-Willing to learn how to run and optimize new techniques that I need for use in my project.
-Act as my security detail and keep vendors at bay by telling them I'm busy while I'm loading gels or just sitting in the corner of the lab reading ESPN magazine.
-Go outside and play catch with me when something in the lab pisses me off.
-Be the best intern I've ever had

On second thought I might rehire Genomic RepairGirl...

9 responses so far

  • Oh and good choice in music is a must. I'll lay out a playlist of tracks that have been carefully chosen and ask what you want to listen to. If you say Ke$ha or Justin Bieber, get the fuck out of my lab. Genomic RepairGirl chose Cage The Elephant, she got to stay.

  • Dr 29 says:

    You totally *must* hire me ;-). No seriously. If I had a mentor like you, maybe I'd like molbio and biochemistry. I'm such a sucky biologist :-S. Awesome list!!!

  • chall says:

    aww.. too bad I'm not a high school student anymore (way too long ago... not that I'm bitter or anything 😉 )

    Good luck with that search. Looking forward seeing that play list (I need to learn new music)

  • Dr. O says:

    This really makes me want a Genomic RepairGirl of my own. Good luck with your search!

  • Eugenie says:

    This makes me wonder what my mentors thought of me when I was their lab minion...

    I may be getting one of my own- any tips with how to deal with one?

    • The biggest thing is to be consistent, you can't let them slack and then jump their shit for slacking off. When I have down time I give mine topics to look up and learn more about and to try to explain to me. For instance I tell her to look up PCR and then try to explain it to me. Usually she would do a pretty good job and I would just have to fill in some minor gaps but it generated good discussion and questions.

      At a certain point you have to toss the training wheels off the bike and give them things to do on their own. I make sure to let them know that they can come to me with questions and problems, but this is their task to do.

      Also don't dump all the shitty jobs off them, I mean they need to clean up after themselves but they are an intern not the lab bitch. Sometimes she would be plating cells or loading gels for westerns and I'd be labeling tubes or cleaning up. I think this role reversal showed that I had trust in what she did and just reinforced that she knew what she was doing.

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