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Days of lamenting over my various internship rejections were finally alleviated on the first day of spring quarter by an offer to take part in one of my top choice programs.

The program is an internship at the Department of Psychiatry at Children’s Hospital Boston. I was given the opportunity to work alongside psychology professionals in a world-class hospital and aid them in their research, and as someone considering pursuing a neuropsychology career, this was not something to pass up.

I am primarily spending my 40 hours a week at Children’s working on research involving brain injury patients. A lot of the work so far has been data entry (not exactly helpful for my impending Carpel Tunnel Syndrome), but I am now just starting the analysis process. Aside from my research duties, I have also had the opportunity to observe various brain injury clinics and neuropsychology evaluations and listen to a number of seminars that have outlined the research currently occurring in this field. The best part of these perks is getting to see a neuropsychologist in action, which is helping me to figure out if this is the field for me (albeit, very slowly, as decision making is not my strong point). I also may even get to administer a neuropsychological evaluation myself by the end of my time at Children’s, which I am extremely excited about. I just hope that I don’t royally screw it up, which even after all these observations is still entirely possible.

But summer 2012 has not just been about figuring out if I want to be a neuropsychologist; it’s also been about deciding if I want to pursue my other love. Enter internship number two: a journalism position at the New England Center for Investigative Reporting based at Boston University. This internship is basically an independent study, as I am helping out on a project remotely through reading documents and calling sources completely on my own time. Doing an internship in this type of format is really helping me hone my time management skills and learn how to get down and dirty with some real investigative journalism. And I’ve even somehow learned to summon enough energy to call people after a full day of work at Children’s, thanks to the eight cups of coffee I drink every day.

When it comes to my first summer of interning, I really lucked out. With the help of a little thing called Google, I searched psych and journalism internships in the Boston area, and mass applied from the beginning of February to the end of March to almost everything under the sun in the same insane fashion I employed for college applications. I was never expecting to be able to explore both fields in one summer, but my bosses at both internships have been super accommodating. Seeing everything work out the way it has, I’d definitely encourage internship seekers to avoid limiting themselves to just one opportunity. The biggest purpose of an internship is to help you figure out what you want to do later on and the best way to do that is to explore all the options you’re considering. Yeah, logistics may get in the way, but if you persevere enough, you’ll be able to make up a feasible schedule. Because let’s face it guys, Northwestern students just love working 60 hours a week over the summer (without pay).

About the NU Intern Blogger Program
This summer, over 50 Northwestern University students will be sharing stories about what they are experiencing at their internships from across the country and internationally. Each week new students will share an inside look at what it means to be an intern. Please contact Betsy Gill, Assistant Director, Internship Services if you have any questions.

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