Reflection | Blog Post 5

I’ve learned a lot from my internship this past summer. My goal when I took this job was to build upon my research skills and gain new ones in quantitative research, and I feel like I accomplished both of these. Throughout the summer I worked on a variety of different projects related to data usage, analysis, and distribution. My office develops tools for educators and students to use Census data, and I was given the opportunity to help explain these tools on both our website and via handouts at our yearly workshop.  I think that was the most fulfilling aspect of my job; I actually got to create content that will help others learn about the social sciences and how data can be used. I was able to do this in other ways through my internship as well, since another one of my main tasks throughout my internship was writing posts for our blog, Data in the News. I really enjoy writing but I have not had anything published in the public sphere before, so I am thankful for the chance to publish my writing online, as it may help me gain jobs in the future. Overall, this internship was a worthwhile experience and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to work in my office. I am actually still working at the SSDAN throughout the school year. Although working in the office will likely be a different experience during the fall and winter, it will be interesting to meet members of the office who were gone over the summer and to see what new projects and challenges arise in my work. Regardless of what may occur, my internship experience was all I could have asked for in a summer job and for that, I am grateful.

Kaitlyn

I'm currently a Research Assistant for the Social Science Data Analysis Network, an office within the Population Studies Center, which is a division of the Institute for Social Research here at the University of Michigan.

2 thoughts on “Reflection | Blog Post 5

  • September 3, 2017 at 3:13 am
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    How will this experience impact your future decisions in the internships/jobs you will partake in?

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    • September 7, 2017 at 7:01 pm
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      Hi Michael,
      I think in the future I’ll probably look more towards jobs that involve the technical and pedagogical aspects of research. In my previous jobs I’ve mostly worked with data from individuals in social experiments, and most of my tasks only involved analyzing the qualitative aspects of what participants say. My experience this past summer gave me more experience with data analysis and statistics on a larger scale within the population, so this new experience made me more confident in my ability to do such quantitative analyses. So maybe in the future I’ll try to find jobs during which I could use these newfound skills. This internship also gave me an opportunity to create tools to help educate others about population data analysis. Since I found that aspect of my job to be more enjoyable than I had initially expected, I’ll probably look for jobs in the future that involve some sort of teaching. Maybe I could be a research mentor to undergraduate students, or make new creative content that makes research resources more well-known and available. I’m still not sure exactly what I would like to do in my future endeavors, but my internship experience did influence what tasks I would like to do in my future field of study.

      Reply

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