My Experience as an Intern at TRI Princeton by Tracy Hervies
I'm an undergraduate student at the University of Toledo, studying Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design. Fall 2022 marks my final year in the program, and I will graduate in the spring. Despite how excited I am to complete my degree, I also feel very anxious about what I'll do when I'm done. I know that I want to start out working in a lab, but I don't have a specific idea yet.
I work under Dr. Ernesta Malinauskyte’s team, but I specifically work with Xuzi Kang! We’ve spent a lot of time working with hair bulbs and, through testing, seeing the results of their antioxidation levels. The data we’ve collected so far has been surprising and I’ve been working alongside Xuzi from the very beginning of the project. So, I’ve had the chance to extract hair bulbs, make samples, and learn the basics of using a GC-MS to analyze the samples. Although I’ve spent most of my time working with Xuzi, I've had the chance to shadow and work with other teams. With Marquita Braxton’s help, I learned how to do treatments on hair and how to bleach tresses for future testing. I’m so thankful to have had this kind of flexibility, as it allowed me to learn from different people and, thus, adapt and build on my own work style.
As someone who has always felt lost in terms of career decisions, it has been great to meet people who started from diverse backgrounds and ended up at TRI. Hearing their stories has given me the confidence to be explorative and open to changes & risks.