RealJobs: Liz O’Day

Liz O’Day’s work day on Thursday, February 11, 2010.

It’s 7:05 and I have made the official decision to sleep in today.  I have a business meeting in Cambridge at 9:30 and originally, I had lofty ideas of going to lab early, taking care of some tissue culture work, setting up a gel and then catching a bus across the river to get to the meeting.  However, I’m a little bit tired today, and with all the excitement of yesterday I am taking it easy this morning… OK- it’s 7:30 time to get up.

This morning I am meeting with a very prominent businesswoman.  She is giving me a crash course in the world of business.  She throws around terms like addressable market, limited liability corporations, and VCs (VCs? voltage channels?) No, no, I am in the business realm right now and this is vernacular for venture capitalists.  OK got it.  I’m feverishly taking notes as she talks about profit projections, people I should contact, putting together my design portfolio, advertising here and there. I can tell this is her forte, you can hear the excitement in her voice.  This is probably what I sound like when you get me talking about stem cells and miRNAs.   We wrap up the meeting both feeling pretty excited and I have a LOT to do.  Lizzard is really happening, that blows my mind.  Actually I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.  I mean maybe Lizzard Fashion will be great.  It would be awesome to see someone wear my clothes, or even cooler would be to overhear someone discussing one of the topics on the T-shirts– spreading the secret code of science.  But, even if it doesn’t pan out, this has been such an interesting process and I have had the opportunity to meet people I would have never had the chance to interact with. This weekend I’ll be meeting with vendors, sampling products and then it’s one step closer to go time.  Fingers crossed for Lizzard.

After the meeting I race back to the lab for group meeting. This is one of my favorite parts of the week.  Not only do I get the chance to hear the progress of one of my colleagues, but Thursday has been declared buffalo chicken pizza day in the Lieberman lab. My boss orders pizza for the lab every week and buffalo chicken is the crowd favorite.  This is one the perks of being a grad student– lots of free food.  Mostly pizza and cookies, but I’m proof that a person can actually subsist pretty well off these.

The rest of my day is pretty standard.  Running back and forth between my two labs.  It’s also the birthday of one of lab mates, the whole lab went across the street to grab a drink and help her celebrate.  It was quite nice, it’s always fun to see the people you work with in a more relaxed environment.

After drinks we all had back to the lab.  I had hoped to finish early today, to get organized for what will be a crazy weekend.  But it’s already close to 2:00 am and I’m just starting to work up a reaction. But this is my life… while I’m waiting to put something in the lyophilizer, I’m working on the finishing touches for my favorite Lizzard shirt– it has the structure of the protein I am working on and across the top it reads, “sapere aude” which in Latin translates as “dare to know”…


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