I am a graduate student in the Department of Sociology and this is my first semester working as a research assistant in the Socio-cybersecurity project. Although it has been only a few months since I joined the project, I think I have learnt a lot in this journey as a researcher. This project not only improved my research skills but also introduced me to new cybersecurity concepts that I was completely unaware of.
As a social science student, one of my main tasks was to conduct survey interviews with students and employees to gather and analyze their views on cybersecurity rules and protocols. This was by far my most favorite task as it gave me the opportunity to gather data for research firsthand and analyze it. While conducting interviews might sound simple, as social science researchers, we have to be careful about subtle things like proper communication and not putting words in the interviewees’ mouth. I think this project improved my interviewing skills a lot. Additionally, with the guidance of my professors I also learnt to analyze data to draw conclusions, which I believe would help a lot in my future research endeavors.
Another experience that was particularly enlightening to me was to learn how to translate my research work to a poster presentation. The in-depth research and literature review required for the process taught me a lot about cybersecurity issues along with their interaction with sociological concepts. Moreover, the discussion sessions with my professors throughout the project introduced me to many new sociological concepts that I believe would add greatly to my research skills.
Overall, my experience as a research assistant improved me a lot in many ways. I am grateful for the whole experience, particularly to Dr. Turner and Dr. Shen, for giving me the opportunity to join the project and assisting me throughout my research work. I hope to learn more from the project in the future.