Being offered the opportunity to work on a real research project within my department put to the test everything I’d learned about qualitative and quantitative data analysis in classes with the same professors. I know what I’m good at and what I need to improve on before I get a job as a professional researcher. I also have a few ideas on what I want to contribute to different areas of sociological study and I know that I want my focus to be education. This was the perfect opportunity to be offered, given I knew my goals before I decided to take on the job. The job itself helped me to practice the application of the skills I had been taught here at NSU. I had to think critically and lean to be flexible and creative in order to meet the tasks presented. This seems to be reflective of the work of my desired profession because even though we were doing a lot of work as student researchers, Dr. Turner hired all of us because she has an even bigger work load. This internship was a foreshadowing of how much work I will have to do in my profession, but I’m open to leaning whatever I can to prepare me.
This internship has taught me a lot about being on a team, leading a team, and communicating with people. Because I wasn’t the only researcher, I was able to check in and offer advice on collecting or analyzing data, as well as note a few effective techniques that others used in their research. Leading a team taught me how to communicate with others and solve problems when everyone isn’t on the same page. All of the situations that taught me these things helped me to be a better communicator overall. Almost every roadblock that we faced was about miscommunication because all of us were so busy. I understand now that communication is a constant thing that can make or break the integrity of a team and the validity of a project
During this internship opportunity, I learned a lot about myself and my aspirations. It caused me to make goals, focus on the execution, and stick to the plan. In the short term, it helped me to focus and forced me to realize that no one is an island. We all need each other to accomplish great things. This opportunity showed me the humility and discipline in my professors and subsequently, the discipline and humility that I need to find in myself to be a good educator. I learned that my profession is as complicated, thoughtful, and time consuming as it is important, because there is a lot of care that goes into molding students to create social change. I thank everyone involved in my growth for the opportunity to refine my skills as a researcher and educator. I am truly compelled to give back through my craft and feel a deep responsibility to do so.