By: Sabrina Salvador, Health Care & Science Career Community Ambassador
On Wednesday, August 5, the HCS team sat down with DePaul students to learn about the network- and internship-building experiences of a fellow undergraduate student, Meg Nair. In this workshop, Meg shared her story and provided insightful advice about how to get involved with psychology research labs, how to find internships, where to apply for internship funding, and organization and time management advice.
Check out the video below for the full event!
How Meg manages her time and balances academics, work, research, and her social life:
For me, finding a balance between going to school full-time,working 20 hours a week at my day job, and then working additional 20-30 hours with my different research opportunities, was something I really struggled with at first. I ended up figuring out that the best time path for me was that I get up around 4AM during school days, going to work for 5-6 hours, taking my classes in the afternoon, and then focusing my research time in the evenings. It is really busy and sometimes hard to keep up with, but I am able to build up my portfolio and resume, and also network with other people to find different opportunities that can help me get into graduate school later… The one thing that really helped me is having set days set aside to relax and take the time to meet up with friends, hang out, and take a break from a lot of stress that can build up while you’re in school trying to balance all of these different roles.
Meg’s study abroad experience and how it help her become a more well-rounded individual:
Being involved in more than just being a research intern is really important, so I found roles in the DePaul community that I could help fulfill. I went to Poland for the multiculturalism seminar focused on theatre about the Holocaust. I’m not a theatre major in any way. I really like musicals, but that’s pretty much where all my theatre knowledge is. I was able to use that opportunity of going to Poland, seeing the different Holocaust memorials and sites, and interviewing different Holocaust survivors to write an essay about how memory is affected by trauma. I was able to submit this essay to my teacher and it brought another way for me to expand my knowledge about psychology and my interests in a way that I didn’t think I would be able to before… A lot of people that were going there were theatre majors, but being a bio-interested psychology major brought a different perspective to the group.
How Meg began her research experience with the Psychology Department and the benefits of networking:
I found the majority of mine through attending class and they were presented by graduate students or asking my professors. I also found one research opportunity by talking to my psychology advisor. I didn’t end up getting that opportunity. It was the first one I had ever looked at, but it was great practice to go in and talk. It was the first interview I had with the program, so it was a great opportunity to talk and try to learn about the whole process. Then I was able to find The Cities Mentor Project which was my first big research opportunity.
A valuable token of advice that Meg would give her freshman-year self:
Realizing that I could apply for research opportunities earlier than I did would’ve been something very helpful. I would’ve loved to build different connections earlier and I would’ve loved the opportunity to try and talk more to my professors. I didn’t really start realizing how important that could all be until right at the end of my sophomore year.
Get started with your internship search today! Check out these relevant resources:
- How I Got This Internship
- Internship Plus (funding for unpaid undergraduate internships)
- McCormick Internship (Community-based research scholarship for undergraduates)
- CSH Faculty Page to show potential research opportunities
- PSI CHI webpage for Psychology students/research
- Networking and Informational Interviews