My internship has brought about many opportunities and challenges thus far. One of the opportunities that I have been able to experience is getting to interview research participants. This is a great opportunity because it is allowing me to develop a new skill. I haven’t done much interviewing in the past. Through my interviews I am learning how to probe for more details and how to ask the right questions. The interviews I am conducting aren’t super structured so I have been able to learn how to ask the right questions that may not be on the page in front of me. I’ve learned that the best interviews happen by just having a conversation with a person. This opportunity of being able to interview research participants will be a tremendous skill to have in my future career goals. My ultimate career goal is to be some sort of therapist or counselor so having this skill of talking to new people in this way will be of great advantage to me.
Through the opportunities that I have had through my internship, I have also faced challenges. One of the challenges that I have had is feeling nervous about interviewing the participants. I had never done interviews before and I wanted to make sure that everything went well in order to not let my research team down. I also did not want to say the wrong things or not get all of the information that the research team needs. I overcame this challenge by practicing my interviewing skills a great deal prior to conducting interviews. I had a few of my friends pretend to be a participant and I would interview them. I also practiced with my research partner, who I’m conducting the interviews with.
One other challenge that I anticipate with my internship is that I will have to do a presentation at the end of the program. Public speaking makes me incredibly nervous mostly because I do not have much experience with it. I worry that people will judge me more than they will and that I will make mistakes. However, this is also an opportunity for me to practice my public speaking skills and to improve them. I plan to practice so that I do not talk to fast and that I do not get overly nervous.