Student Internship Stories: Ankur Bamezai (CAS’22), MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Science Research

CCD: Tell us about your experience. What were your responsibilities?

AB: This summer, in my role as a research assistant at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Science Research, I was tasked with managing the feedback collection process for the “Executive Function Game” project. For the most part, this required me to recruit participants, execute “playtesting” (feedback/data collection) sessions, and communicate insights during weekly team meetings.

CCD: What resources at BU or elsewhere did you use?

AB: I think the area where my previous coursework helped the most was reading and interpreting scientific literature. Many of my neuroscience classes emphasized the learning of this skill, especially in project settings. While I think I still have a lot of work to do in this area, getting a lot of exposure to styles of writing in scientific literature early on provided a sturdy foundation to take on harder tasks that this job required, like presenting on a paper or doing a miniature literature review.

CCD: What was the best thing about the experience? What was the worst?

AB: I really enjoyed collecting and presenting my findings to the team during our weekly meetings. It was incredible to have the chance to share my ideas, observations, and insights as well as engage in discussions that helped inform the design of our game. The thing that was least appealing was recruiting. It was a really tough and even uncomfortable process that I had to go through to get the necessary number of participants for playtesting sessions. That being said, learning how to properly recruit and maintain good relationships with participants is a key skill for being a researcher in this area of study.

CCD: What was the most rewarding part of your experience?

AB: The most rewarding part of this whole internship was having the ability to collect the feedback the way I wanted to as well as being a meaningful part of discussions and decisions that affected the way the project was being executed.

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