Hagar Kenawy (PREP 15), gave some advice for current and incoming cohorts;
During my year with VT-PREP, I've had the opportunity to travel and attend various conferences such as the 2017 MedTech Conference held in San Jose, California, ABRCMS 2017 at Phoenix, Arizona, and the University of Virginia 2nd Annual Advanced Biomanufacturing Symposium. I've also had the opportunity to present an oral presentation at the 2017 BioCore Conference at Duke University, and at the Society of Biomaterials Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and a poster presentation at the MII Technical Conference and Review at Virginia Tech as well as the 2018 Mid Atlantic PREP/IMSD Research Symposium (MAPRS) at Duke University.
My advice for current and upcoming students is to not sell yourself short. I tend to limit myself based on what I think I can do but take chances if you have nothing to lose but time. Be open to new experiences, make sure to get to know the VT community, attend the forums, dinners, breakfasts, and link up with people to form your own community and support system here. Explore Blacksburg and VT (restaurants, trails, hikes, ponds, Virginia Tech Union, etc). There's a lot here to do even if it might not seem like it at first.
My plans after my PREP year ends: spend some time with my family and friends before heading off to Columbia University in the pursuit of a Biomedical Engineering PhD.