Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

The interns collected the following quotes from scientists’ interviews as advice for students to consider, both inspirationally and practically. 




  • “Fail more. Try new things, and fail, and not get dejected, but get more inspired by knowing that you want to do things differently and how you could get better” ~Nitin Baliga


  • “You must have determined optimism in the face of resistance” ~Lee Hood


  • “If you are really interested in the question that you’re asking, it’s going to make life easier, if not, at least enjoyable” ~Vivek Srinivas


  • “Do not get rigid. Don’t reject ideas based on dogma, but only based on logic.” ~Lee Hood


  • “In order to find what success means, know what you’re doing and make sure you have enough information to define that success” ~Nitin Baliga


  • Research is ninety-five percent failure and five percent success rate, and thus you should learn to be happy with it” ~Vivek Srinivas


  • “If you’re open to your vision of your future changing, you’ll find a better fit for yourself overall. Your interests will shift over time, even if you’re in the perfect fit, in the beginning, you’ll find yourself wanting to do something new” ~Maryann Watkins


  • “Try to focus on the present and not the future” ~Jared Roach


  • “My father used to say, “If you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Think about what is more important, because ultimately it’s up to you” ~Jake Valenzuela


  • “Nothing is really set and stone and you can always do more than you originally envisioned. I think it’s valuable to try different things because then you’ll never know what you really like.” ~Maryann Watkins 


  • “Every so often along your career path take a moment to stop and think about where you are headed and ask yourself if that path is leading you in the direction that feels like an authentic fit. If it doesn’t, explore other options until you get on a pathway that gets you to where you want to be.”~Becky Howsmon


Schooling & Skills


  • “The most important thing in your career is to have fun, work with good people, and go to good institutions. You can be infinitely smart, but if you’re talking to people smarter than you, your abilities will be amplified.” ~Lee Hood


  • “Writing skills are super important, really getting a good understanding and appreciation for writing, for reading scientific literature and other types of literature” ~Jessica Day


  • “Definitely learn how to program. It’s really important.” ~Alison Paquette


  • “Be opportunistic and flexible. It’s like any kind of strategy or military thinking… You make a plan, which is good until the first shot is fired and then you go with the flow” ~Jared Roach


  • “If you can develop skills that are ‘rarer than a hen’s tooth,’ you’re going to be very employable” ~Jared Roach


  • “Definitely get the experience in the lab, but also try to experience labs in other departments to see what you are truly interested in” ~Eliza Peterson


  • “Statistics is really valuable, and if there is any biostatistics course, those can be really helpful as well” ~Eliza Peterson


  • “Never be shy to ask for help and guidance. It never hurts to ask anyone; it could be someone in STEM or not, but it is always really good to get advice from others around you.”~Deep Kaur


  • ” remember that you don’t have to make your mind up now”~Henry Hampton