Prior to this internship, I participated in various leadership activities and seminars. But when coming into the lab, I thought my position would be to listen to my mentor and get their work done and not lead on my own. I was extremely wrong. Despite being an intern, we are given the responsibility of recruiting and scheduling our participants for our studies. This doesn’t seem like much until you realize there are at least 8 interns all scheduling for 10 different studies through own phone and own email.
The study I am working on is a follow up study which means we have priority for the children we contact because ours is a smaller pool to work from. It was this week that I realized how effective I was at scheduling and how terrible some other interns were. Throughout the summer, I have noticed people skipping details that are involved with scheduling and recruiting but it wasn’t until this week that I stood up and decided to take action on this dilemma. I had to make the uncomfortable first mention to people that were doing it wrong. I had to spend hours cleaning up other’s mistakes. But afterwards, my lab respects how well I handle scheduling and scheduling for all the labs. Although it was super scary to speak up and tell other people my age and in the same job position that they were doing it wrong. It only helped the efficiency of the lab.
I didn’t realize I could have a leadership role, as an intern, as a research assistant. But this address to a continuing mishap allowed me to break out and actually positively influence my lab and its organization. I may be continuing this position in the fall and I know my organizational skills and ability to lead and teach others will make me a valuable asset.