Intern Anniversary Series: Kaitlin McNally
2010 Intern with Leon Kochian while a senior at the University of Georgia
Now: After completing a masters degree in plant science, she is on the way to completing her Ph.D. in plant-pathogen interactions at the University of Zurich.
Who was your mentor and how did the person shape your experience at BTI?
Dr. Lyza Maron was, and still is, my mentor. Since the beginning of our work together she was open, encouraging, and very patient. She shared not only her research but her passion for science and her perspectives on the world. We keep in touch and meet from time to time, and I am always looking forward to our next coffee.
What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
So far I would say I am most proud of the fact that I have travelled and experienced science on an international scale. I have met many inspiring (and admittedly a few uninspiring) people who have given me a clearer picture of what I would like to accomplish professionally and the kind of person I want to be while doing it. I have been lucky to find the right position, on the right topic, at the right time, several times. I guess I still attribute a lot of the credit to luck, but I believe you have to be looking for luck—so I guess I’m proud that I’ve done a lot of looking.
Would you recommend this experience to others and why?
Absolutely. For me it was a wonderful opportunity and life experience. It is an opportunity to make lifelong friends, mentors, and colleagues. For many it might be a first experience in research, and I can’t image a better setting than among the world-class research groups at BTI.
More information on the Plant Genome Research Program summer internship and its history is available here.