This summer, I saw how the theories I’d learned about attachment and developmental psychology at Brandeis apply to actual patients and research in the field. I learned several new skills, such as applying caps/optodes for fNIRS scans, preparing participants for and running fMRI scans, processing saliva for oxytocin assays, screening patient medical charts, and approaching hospital patients for study recruitment.
I was able to explore a potential career as a clinical researcher and learned about various career trajectories in psychology and medicine (e.g., child psychiatrist, developmental-behavioral pediatrician, clinical psychologist, etc.). I received invaluable wisdom and guidance from Dr. Kim and her team. Also, I had the opportunity to observe a psychiatrist perform diagnostic tests and MRS scans, and learn from a school psychologist about diagnostic testing used in school systems. These experiences helped me envision potential future careers in psychology and/or medicine. Although my career interests are not completely solidified, this internship has given me a clearer understanding of what potential paths could look like. I was able to ask several professionals about their experiences and suggestions when it comes to choosing between various careers in the field.
I gained experience working in a professional setting. I was eager to gain confidence in my verbal and written communication skills to feel more sure of myself in professional spaces. This internship provided me with incredible opportunities to communicate confidently with professionals in the field.
My advice to a student interested in a psychology research internship is that it’s crucial to find a project that genuinely excites you and aligns with your academic/personal interests. From there, it’ll be easy to immerse yourself in the work and perform to your highest potential. To a student interested in an internship at UMass Chan Medical School, my biggest piece of advice would be to take advantage of and seek out opportunities to learn from mentors there. The team is full of incredibly intelligent and insightful people eager to help you reach your goals.
I’m proud that I can confidently say that I gave this internship my all and made a real impact with my work this summer. I am proud of my commitment and effort over the last three months and that I’ve been asked to return to the team as a Clinical Research Assistant once I graduate in December. I am excited to continue working with and learning from Dr. Kim and the larger CANDI (Child and Adolescent NeuroDevelopment Initiative) team at UMass Chan Medical School.
I am incredibly grateful that I was selected for a WOW Fellowship this summer. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences over the past three months that would have been impossible without it. Thank you!