New Fish

In the name of thinly veiled narcissism, I thought I’d make my first post about me.

Hi, I’m Spencer.

I’m a new student at OHSU entering the PMCB graduate program in the fall.  While I’m new to the program, I’ve actually been doing research here at OHSU for ten years.  I’ve been an intern, a lab tech, a senior research assistant, and even had a short stint delivering pizzas here, so I know my way around pretty well.  I hope I can use this blog to help new students acclimate to life here, and be something of a cultural guide to my favorite city in the history of the planet (hopefully that didn’t sound sarcastic, I was going for hyperbole).

Aside from that, I’d like to share my experience starting out in a challenging degree program, in the hopes that other students can learn from my mistakes, or at least have a good laugh at my expense.  Luckily I’ve worked with a lot of grad students here who have been kind enough to share their experiences with me, and I’m happy to share their advice as well.  Right now, like a lot of first-years, I’m focusing on meeting with as many different labs for rotations as I can, especially with labs outside my area of expertise.  This is the one thing everyone has stressed to me, that first year lab rotations are a great opportunity to expose yourself to as many disciplines as you can.  It’s also a great way to network, learn the campus, and see which labs have awesome views, and which are stuck in the corner of a supply closet.

It’s also been impressed on me the importance of getting ready for school.  Whether it’s brushing up on the basics, figuring out what the hell the Pomodoro Technique is, or loading up your iDevice with eTextbooks, you really can’t over do being prepared.  I know getting ready for school may be trite to a lot of new students fresh out of university, but some of us haven’t been in school for quite some time, and the prospect can be a little daunting.  It’s like some pants-less nightmare really, I’m realizing I haven’t been in school for 8 years, and I’m not even sure if I remember how to study.  The thought of opening a gibberish filled textbook again, of mainlining Starbucks to make it through lectures, of wasting valuable video game time studying for tests, it all seems a little panic inducing.  But thankfully there’s a lot of resources available to brush up on scholastic skills, a very helpful department to make life easier, and many many local bars.  No reason to panic just yet.

For now I’ll leave you with this collection of student advice from the PMCB department, I think a lot of it is very applicable to any graduate program here at OHSU.

Looking forward to meeting everyone soon!

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  1. As someone who took time off before starting the PMCB program I can totally relate to your anxiety about whether or not you remember how to study. I assure you that you do and that you’ll undoubtedly kick ass in your classes. Good luck!

  2. Welcome Spencer! We look forward to learning more about you and your years in the PMCB program.

  3. Welcome to StudentSpeak! I am looking forward to reading about your experiences in PMCB and beyond as you move into the basic science graduate programs! (I also took time off between my BS and PhD degrees-while it was many years ago- I discovered that studying is like riding a bicycle- you never forget how.)

  4. Welcome to PMCB and Graduate Studies and best wishes.

  5. Thanks for the link to the student advice. I’m sure it will help in the physician assistant program too!

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