Looking to do something different with her summer, University of Arkansas senior and Alumni Endowed Scholar, Megan Wood, of Washington, MO, spent her junior year scouring the internet for internship opportunities. Pursuing a major in biochemistry, she knew she wanted to spend her summer working with and learning about the medical field.
Torn between two passions – research and medicine, she applied for an internship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “They called me in March and told me I had gotten the position,” she said. Throughout the 10-week program, she spent her days working in a lab, focusing on polycystic kidney disease; attending seminars to learn of other research being conducted in the field; reading academic literature and learning from her mentor, Dr. Ward.
Provided the opportunity to research independently, she admits one of the biggest challenges is “the research is different from anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve had to acclimate to a different research environment.”
Arriving back in Fayetteville, Wood understands appreciates the opportunity and impact of her time spent at the Mayo Clinic, proclaiming that the connections made will be life-long and could possibly benefit her in the coming years. Planning to attend medical school after graduation, she is looking into the possibility of incorporating a Ph.D. in research. “I’m thinking of pursuing a M.D. which would be a seven to eight year program,” she said.
Whatever path she pursues, Wood is grateful for her time at the University of Arkansas and the generosity of the people who have helped her and the opportunities provided to her as a student. As an Arkansas Alumni Association Endowed Scholar, her appreciation for the scholarship is something she plans to carry with her after graduation.
“It will be hard to leave the University of Arkansas because it was such a pinnacle point in my life. I will definitely join the Arkansas Alumni Association and look forward to volunteering for the annual scholarship review,” she said. “I look forward to the time that I get to give back to the U of A because it gave so much to me.”