Career and Post-Graduate Development

  • Julia Huff ’20

Julia Huff

Internship Location: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Major

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Minor

Studio Art

My Story

Going into her internship, Julia was prepared to pursue Pharmacy after college, but after a summer of research with National Institutes of Health, her career goals evolved. “I loved doing research at NIH so much, and was so interested in what I was researching, that I want to now go into research and pursue a PhD in virology or immunology,” she says. Julia credits her many hours in the research lab doing everything from experiments to performing western blots and gel electrophoresis with widening her career possibilities. Julia’s work definitely kept her busy, but she credits it with helping her to find her true career passion.

Academic Connection

The unique lab experiences Julia received during her time at Ursinus were essential to her work at National Institutes of Health. She says that, “I felt ahead of many of the other interns at NIH, with the practical lab and math skills that I had learned in various labs at Ursinus.”

Strengths

“I think in the field of research, critical thinking and problem solving is crucial. It is extremely important to know how to handle situations that might be going wrong, or knowing how to fix experiments when an error arises,” Julia adds. She notes that she often worked alone on her experiments, and it was essential to be able to think on her feet and plan her daily routine on her own. With her mentor leaving for Norway for a month, Julia also undertook more personal responsibility, which while she says was a challenge, also helped her to prepare for her future career.

Reflection

Going forward, Julia looks forward to pursuing future work, but she is incredibly grateful for her time at National Institutes of Health, saying that, “The research that I did at my internship helped me build my confidence so much that I feel extremely comfortable working in that field.” The excitement in being able to see the results of her experiments is one of her fondest memories from her time there as well, and she is excited to see what similar work will be like going forward.

Fun Fact

Julia’s favorite movie is Wall-E!

Profile written by Sarah Johns ’21