Internship Series: UROP (Children’s Literature)

Nina Becker JobimNina Becker Jobim
CAS ‘16 | English

During the summer of 2015, Nina Becker Jobim worked on a UROP project with Professor Anna Henchman assembling materials to help create a new class on children’s literature.

CCD: How did you find the position? What helped you get it? What resources (at BU or elsewhere) did you use?

Nina: Professor Anna Henchman first expressed interest to me in creating a new class on Children’s Literature at BU during Fall 2014, when I was taking her British Literature II class. She asked the class if they had any ideas about the subject, and if they did, to see her after class.

I immediately went to see her, as I have a long-standing love for children’s literature, and we discussed the possibility of making it a summer or semester-long UROP project. The summer was a better option for both of us, and so during the Spring 2015 semester, we planned and filled out a UROP application for summer funding together. I applied to do part-time research, and was thankfully accepted. It should be said that, if I had not received the funding, I would likely have done this project anyway, since it is something that I really care about.

CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?

Nina: Organize, organize, organize! The death of a researcher working on their own schedule is the idea that they can “just do it whenever.” That’s a good way of not getting anything done. You’d think that being organized would be an obvious thing to prioritize, but I don’t just mean use a highlighter and don’t mix up your notes. It’s important to plan your days ahead of time. Most “free form” researchers, as I like to call it – researchers setting their own schedules, that is – might have their months and maybe weeks planned out. But every day that you’re going to do work, you should think about what you want to do ahead of time. That doesn’t mean you need to have a goal that you need to have accomplished by the end of the day, but you should know what you want to work on that day.

CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?

Nina: I was already interested in academia and children’s literature before starting my research this past summer, but this experience made me pretty sure that I want to work in academia in the future and got me interested in the idea of being a university professor. I like universities and the resources they offer, and I feel like I thrive in university classroom environments. I think I’m a little closer to deciding what I would like to get my master’s degree in! I’m interested in children’s literature as well as comparative literature and library science, but I’m still not completely sure what I’d like to focus on.

CCD: What’s next for you?

Nina: I’m a senior, and I’ll be graduating this year, though I’m not one hundred percent sure what I’ll be doing once school is done. I would like to work with editing and publishing, or maybe I might even find some kind of position working for a professor, or in some other academic setting!


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