After a month and half of researching racism and police shootings in the United States I have learned a great deal. I learned much more about the topic of racism and how it expresses itself in the US. Racism is present in every state, not just the conservative ones, and many systems are unfair. I also learned about gun control in America and firearm violence. I can apply this to my look on life and American society. I will gain a greater understanding of how racism works and its effects on society. This will help me in help in my classes but also beyond that.
During this internship I learned a great deal about researching and many skills associated with conducting research. For example, I learned about collecting data, such as where to find the information and how to chart/measure it once you have it. I learned what to do with that data once you have it and tools for summarizing and analyzing the data you received. I also became an expert at Excel. This is something that nearly everyone has on the resumes, but I can actually say with confidence that I know how to extensively use it. This is a great skill to have that I will need not only in some of my Brandeis classes but also in a career after I graduate. I am an HSSP and psychology major, so I will likely be going into a field involving research and I feel that I am confidant in collecting and analyzing data.
I also learned how to work well with others and listen to everyone’s thoughts and ideas. Before we make any decisions on what to do next, we meet together and have an open discussion where everyone weighs in on their thoughts and ideas. In the past I am usually put in situation where I am told exactly what to do, or I working alone and completely in charge of only my work. At my internship I am given a great deal of freedom and independence to do my work the way that best suits me, but I am also part of a team and have to consider other. For example, this week we finished all of our data collection and we met to discuss how to best organize and present that data in more readable form. We were all expected to give our ideas on what we thought was best to but to eventually all come to a common agreement.
I learned that I have developed really good listening skills, although at times it is best to hold back my thoughts and let others take the lead. I learned that we can all benefit from listening to one another rather than competing with each other. I have been given a lot of responsibility at my job and I can use it to my advantage, or do the bare minimum. Because I have so much independence I can choose if I want to put in effort or slack off. I have learned that when I am working on a topic I find to interesting and important, I am more likely to give it my best and do more than just the bare minimum.