Name: Cicely Schramm
Title and Company: Graduate Student, PhD Program in Neuroscience at University of Minnesota
Hometown: Laurens, IA
Major and Graduation Date: Genetics, May 2003
Major Job/Position Responsibilities:
During the first couple years of grad school, I spent quite a bit of time taking and teaching neuroscience classes. Now, my main responsibilities include designing and carrying out experiments and interpreting the resulting data. As such, the challenging but rewarding process of learning and molding different experimental techniques is a large part of my job. Lately, I've been spending most of my time using pharmacological manipulation of peptide release from sensory neurons and teased-fiber electrophysiology to answer my experimental questions. Keeping up with current literature in my field, giving public talks, and writing are also among my responsibilities.
What you like most about your job/position:
The best thing about my position is that it's always engaging and challenging. It's very rewarding to make a living by learning, thinking, and discovering interesting new things that could potentially make other people's lives better. The insurance benefits and flexible schedule are nice perks, and having the opportunity to travel to scientific conferences around the world has been a really big bonus, too!
What advice would you give to current students:
Keep your mind and options open, and get as much experience as you can- not just a good amount, but also a wide variety. You might be surprised what sparks your interest and leads you down a new path. Don't be afraid to ask your professors for advice or opportunities. Most of all, don't forget to have fun and enjoy what you do!