Siiri Kevät Reinikka

I first became aware of NIGINTERN program while I was finishing the final year of my bachelor’s degree. Japan and its nature and culture has fascinated me for a long time, and hence, the NIGINTERN program naturally came to my mind when I was looking for a summer internship after prefinal year of my master’s degree.

I got accepted to Ikeo group – DNA data analysis laboratory, and my project was focused on phylogenetic analysis of sea urchin species living in the Indo-West Pacific. I am interested in DNA and NGS-data analysis, however, I didn’t have much experience of phylogenetic analysis prior the internship. Accordingly, during my internship I learned a lot about the methodology behind evolutionary and phylogenetic research, including theory, practical data analysis, as well as result interpretation. I can’t thank Ikeo-sensei and Kinjo-san enough for their help and patient guidance through the internship. Besides learning about phylogenetics and related data analysis, I was also attending seminars and visiting to other interesting laboratories to learn and observe research of different fields.

Spending the past six weeks with such a motivated and ambitious group of interns from across the world has truly been inspiring. Besides working on our research projects, we also got a change to travel around. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara as well as few other cities, we visited beautiful and peaceful shrines and temples, experienced Japanese culture including firework festivals and Japanese cuisine. I absolutely fell in love with this beautiful country and its amazing nature and kind people.

The internship exceeded my all expectations, I did not even dream to learn so much in such a short time. This experience has definitely shaped me and my goals for the future. I wish to thank everybody working in the DNA data analysis lab, you have all been very kind to me. I also wish to thank the Education Team, you did amazing job to make us all feel welcome and helped us through our internship. Hopefully, in the future I will be able to visit NIG again.