During the summer of 2015, Veena Dali was a Research Assistant at Boston University’s CompNet Vision Lab, where she was in charge of recruiting subjects for experiments, running subjects, mentoring new members, reading scientific papers, and writing MATLAB code for the experiments.
CCD: How did you find the position? What helped you get it? What resources (at BU or elsewhere) did you use?
Veena: I used the UROP resources and other research listings from the Neuroscience Department to help me narrow down a list of labs that I was interested in. I emailed many principal investigators asking if they were looking for any new members for their lab. I also spoke to faculty in the Neuroscience Department as well to help me get in touch with other labs.
CCD: What is one thing you’ve learned that will benefit any future internships or other hands-on experiences?
Veena: I think this was the first job I had that allowed me to work closely with my manager with whom I learned how to effectively interact, which I believe is a useful skill. I will definitely use what I learned at my next job. I learned how to be productive during long work hours, and I also learned how to set my own deadlines and ensure I meet them.
CCD: How has this experience changed your future plans?
Veena: It was a full-time, paid internship that entailed doing research for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. It helped me realize that I do not want to do research in the future. It is exciting and a great supplement to courses, but I do not want to pursue it as a career. Doing this internship was a great experience, and I am thankful for getting the opportunity to experience what the field of research entails.
CCD: What advice would you give to another student about making the most of a summer experience?
Veena: I recommend trying new things, especially in the summer. Summer internships are the best way to do new things, especially because you have so much time and no classes to worry about.