Taking advantage of the resources at BU, Susi Neher studied abroad in Kenya during the summer of 2014. Through this experience, Susi determined that a career in research is the right path for her.
CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?
Susi: I took courses in culture, public health, and field research methods. As a researcher, I collected data in the field on community health issues to fulfill a directed research project.
CCD: How did you find your internship?
Susi: I found this opportunity through my academic advisor, Vicky Kelberer. One of my BU professors wrote me a letter of recommendation that was very helpful in getting accepted to the program. The Study Abroad office, in particular Emily Whalen, was also very helpful as a resource in finding and getting accepted to my program.
CCD: What is the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?
Susi: The best thing about my experience was getting to do directed research in the field as an undergraduate. I also enjoyed being challenged by my program, meeting a lot of amazing new people, and experiencing a different culture. The worst part was the culture shock and that my program was only for the summer. I wish I could have stayed longer!
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?
Susi: I learned that working together as a team is critical in the field of research. The task was too big to complete as an individual; I had to learn to trust my research partners and work as a team, rather than a group of people all getting different grades. This is beneficial in the long-run because it taught me that sometimes group success is more important than standing out as an individual.
CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?
Susi: Before this summer, I did not consider research as a part of my future career plans. Now, I am thinking about doing more research or another program before I attend graduate school.
CCD: What’s next for you?
Susi: More study abroad! I am currently (spring 2015) studying and interning in Geneva, Switzerland. This is through BU Study Abroad (the IR internship program). I hope to return to East Africa this summer and travel around the world with some good friends I met in Kenya last summer.