Working for this internship as a research assistant has influenced me in ways I was not prepared for originally. I had been originally drawn to this position because of my love for social science and interdisciplinary research. The project is focused on patient experience in IVF, or infertility treatment. It focuses on the themes, emotions, and patient clinic interactions throughout the treatment. Working on the project has given me extensive insight into the issues with treatment that span beyond adherence and clinical issues. I have truly enjoyed the project because I am able to make connections and see patterns across patients and treatment progression. This has always been my favorite part of research. However, while working on this project I unexpectedly gained a new mentor in my academic journey.
The graduate student I am working for has been very nurturing through this internship. She has treated me as an equal in discussion of the material, which is a new experience from previous projects I have worked on. I think I learn more from a project the more I can contribute on an individual level, and it has helped my own development of my analytical skills. She is an amazing mentor because the methods she uses for research are new and very innovative. She is providing me with analytical tools I could use in the future on my own research projects. And finally, she is a well rounded mentor because I can ask her advice in my own journey to graduate school. She is not in the program I would be applying for, however she has lots of helpful advice on getting the graduate school, and how to handle things once you are there. She is so supportive, and I believe she trusts the work I am putting forth as a research assistant. The relationship fosters academic growth for me, and it was an unexpected connection that has helped me through the summer. The relationship has become very important for me future path, and I am so grateful for the unexpected connection.