Student Intern: Rashad J. Gober
Hometown: Rock Hill, SC
Concentration: Clinical Psychology
Extracurricular Activities: Resident Assistant in Maclellan/Rymer, Chair of Campus Stewardship Committee, Psi Chi Vice President, Sunday School teacher at Rock Creek Fellowship (K-5th).
Internship: The Harvey A. Friedman Center for Aging provides academic and administrative leadership to foster the development and implementation of activities that enhance productive aging. This University-wide Center promotes research, education, policy, and service initiatives that enable older adults to remain healthy, active, empowered, contributing, and independent for as long as possible.
As an intern in this program in June and July, 2010, I was assigned a professor-mentor who works at the university. I worked in her lab by advancing the pilot run of the research she and a graduate student are conducting, regarding the age effects on perceptual navigation in a virtual environment. This meant that I read articles and wrote summaries, scheduled test subjects to participate in our research, led their participation in the research, and did data entry and coding for the information gathered. At the end of my internship, I was responsible for presenting my accumulated findings at a poster session with the other interns in my program.
I was able to contribute by furthering their pilot study and working out kinks so that, in the future, their research will go much more fluidly. My help in running test subjects and researching articles pertaining to our study really freed the rest of the lab to work on journal articles and more technical areas of the neuropsychology in the research.
I can already see the benefits of my internships in relation to my studies at Covenant. For example, I understand many of the concepts in a required course, Intro. to Research Methods, from my hands-on experience. Also, my summer experience has made me eligible to receive course credit by completing the requirements for the independent research class.
Because of my internship, I now know what it is like to work in a larger research institution. That experience, especially as an undergraduate, is invaluable. My hands-on experience has also given me a greater understanding of and appreciation for research and experimental psychology. Learning more about the constantly growing field of neuropsychology has also sparked my interest in possibly integrating this into my graduate studies.
I would most definitely encourage other students to pursue internships! I would especially encourage this if one were interested in pursuing graduate school studies. It may give you the upper hand among other peers/applicants. Also, I believe that internships can be a real-world challenge to students as we learn more about integrating our faith with our discipline here at Covenant. Again, the thought-provoking experience is invaluable.
Also, talk to professors in your field of study! They can be huge assets as you consider internships. The one-on-one help and support I received from the psychology department is one of the reasons I was chosen for this internship.
Why an internship? Though I plan on attending graduate school in order to become a practicing clinical psychologist, I began to see the value in breadth of experience in all aspects of psychology in order that I may really excel in my discipline.
How did you get the internship? I began searching online for research experiences that might utilize my skill set and interests. I eventually stumbled upon the website of the National Science Foundation and discovered several potential paid internships that sparked my interest. Once I determined the ones I wanted to apply for, the Center for Calling & Career helped me put together a resume tailored toward the internships. Also, for the particular internship I received, I had two letters of recommendation from faculty members at Covenant (Dr. Phil Wright & Dr. John Wingard) and I completed two essays.
What are your plans/goals for the future? Currently, I'm planning on attending graduate school to attain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I would also like to concentrate in neuropsychology. I know that I would like to practice but, after my research experience, I am also considering teaching at the university level and/or conducting research.
How does your internship relate to your career plans? I now know that I would like to work in a large, secular university in some capacity. It has also given me networking opportunities at Washington University in St. Louis (a graduate school choice for me) and a greater understanding of the numerous paths I can take in psychology.