Lindsay Zajac '14
Internship Title: Children's Hospital Boston Research Internship
Employer: Children's Hospital Boston
Location: Boston, MA
Describe your duties:
As an intern at the Children's Hospital Boston, I assisted two neuropsychologists on their current research projects. One project was a neurobehavioral study on cognition and mood in children with benign rolandic epilepsy. For this project, I was responsible for patient recruitment and data collection management. I also gained familiarity with administering and scoring standardized neuropsychological assessments. The second project involved interrogating clinical records to extract data about the population of children with diverse problems involving learning and school functioning. In addition, I participated in a regular intern seminar, where we had the opportunity to learn more about active research projects in the psychiatry department, possible career pathways, and the practice of clinical and academic psychology and psychiatry.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
There were five other interns in the program with me, and it was great getting to spend time with them. Even though we were all located at different areas in the hospital, we would come together for our weekly seminars. We all have different backgrounds and research interests, so it was always interesting hearing everyone's perspectives. It was also an invaluable experience getting to interact with the Children's Hospital faculty. All of the mentors were so welcoming, and they never hesitated to answer any of our questions. Overall, it was a great work environment.
What was the most difficult aspect of the internship?
Besides having to learn how to navigate the "T" (the Boston subway system), probably the most difficult part of my internship was budgeting my finances. I'm not from the Boston area, so I had to take into consideration the cost of rent and groceries. If I had been notified of my internship offer earlier, I definitely would have applied for the BPIP fund.
How did your experience at Bucknell prepare you for your internship? How did your internship prepare you for a career?
Before my internship, I had already gotten some exposure to research methodology through Bucknell's psychology department, so I was comfortable interacting with participants and research mentors. Building on this prior research exposure, my internship helped prepare me for a career in so many ways. First, it solidified my interests in psychology. Being in a hospital opened my eyes to working in a clinical setting, and I am now hoping to pursue a degree in child clinical psychology. We also had two seminars that were all about applying to graduate school, and I'll definitely be using that information when the time comes. Finally, under the guidance of my mentors, I had the opportunity to write an abstract and submit a poster for the International Neuropsychological Society. This opportunity helped prepare me for a career because it not only exposed me to new aspects of research, but it also exposed me to the benefits of strong teamwork and communication.
What recommendations do you have for other students considering doing an internship?
Sometimes psychology students are under the impression that we don't have many internship opportunities. However, they are out there! You just need to be really proactive about finding them. In fact, I started reaching out to potential internship programs during Thanksgiving break. Also, even if you think you won't be accepted to an internship program, still apply! It can't hurt to get your name out there because you never know what will happen. When I applied to this internship at the Children's Hospital, I didn't think I would get an offer! Be confident in yourself. Make sure you visit the CDC too! They're a great resource and so helpful when it comes to perfecting your resume and personal statement.