Employer: Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, Cambridge, MA

Internship Sponsor: llona Quest P'92 Memorial BPIP Internship Fund

Alex Maclay '15

My Experience:

I interned with the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory as a Research Assistant. The relatively new field of decision science focuses on the human decision-making process and the biases and uncertainties therein. The Decision Science Lab is a resource open to research across all disciplines within the university. Thus, as a Research Assistant, my work included helping faculty from numerous disciplines, including business, psychology, economics, and medicine. My daily duties included helping researchers use the lab's equipment, running participants through experiments, and helping run the lab itself.

In addition to my duties as a Research Assistant, I also had the opportunity to focus on my own project. As a continuation of a study run by the lab in earlier years, I studied the effect of anger on risk-taking behavior. The opportunity to work on cutting-edge research was both fascinating and incredibly educational.

What is the most interesting or important thing you took from your Internship this summer?

The experience I gained this summer was the most valuable part of my internship. I was able to observe the research process firsthand, participating in and contributing to each step. I learned how to run subjects through psychological experiments and use computer programs that are used throughout the field. These skills will help me immensely in my future work.

How did the BPIP Fund help make your experience possible?

The BPIP Fund made all the difference in making my internship possible. It covered my travel expenses to and from Massachusetts, allowed me to purchase a much-needed laptop and software necessary to perform my work, and helped me cover food costs throughout the summer. Financing my experience would have been nearly impossible had it not been for the opportunity the BPIP gave me.

Would you recommend the BPIP Fund?

Absolutely. The BPIP Fund is a terrific program, not only for the financial support, but also for the connection to alumni and making these kinds of opportunities possible for Bucknell students.

Other comments:

The internship I participated in this summer has been invaluable to my career. The experience, connections to those in my field, the skills I acquired, and additions to my resume are I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to the BPIP Fund for making my internship possible.