Over the summer, Psychology major Isadora Fink had an extraordinary internship experience at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which is affiliated with the Human Research and Engineering Directorate in the Department of Defense. We interviewed Isadora so that she could tell us more about her experience.

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Psychology major Isadora Fink and her research poster

1. Where and when did you complete this internship?

First, I applied to the Army Research Laboratory’s (ARL) College Qualified Leadership (CQL) internship program. This program places student within Department of Defense Labs for a research experience. I was placed at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) within the Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED). I was on site this summer from June 3rd till August 16th. I had heard about the program through a family member who had sent me a link to the internship.

2. There are so many internship opportunities out there. In what ways did this one stand out?

I would like to gain more experience within a professional research setting. More importantly, I would like to use this experience to get a better understanding of myself and what I want to do in the future. This amazing opportunity would allow me to work with researchers from various fields and as a result, be super helpful for me as I continue to figure out what type of graduate program I would like to apply to for next year.

3. What were your job responsibilities?

I have gained tons of research experiences! I was responsible for compiling data, analyzing and interpreting data with SPSS, developing research questions, assisting with equipment (e.g., equi vital system, eye-tracking equipment), putting together research study proposals, and carrying out research studies. The best thing about this internship was the connections that I was able to make with researchers from different fields. I was lucky to have an excellent supervisor who had mentored me along the way. I also got to work with interesting topics such as augmented reality.

4. What was a highlight of your experience?

All interns were required to present their work at the end of their internship and two student interns (one graduate and one undergraduate) were selected to represent a paper presentation. Among all the interns, I was the undergraduate student who was selected to present my work at the summer student symposium. Specifically, I presented my study titled “Using Augmented Reality in Mission Planning and Performance.”

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Among all the undergraduate interns, Isadora was selected to present her study at a symposium. Way to Go Isa!

5. Any obstacles that you have encountered during this internship?

I guess getting all the paperwork done before the internship was an obstacle! It also took some time to gain access to their computer system/network.

6. Lastly, how has this internship changed or enhanced your career goals?

Tremendously! It has helped solidify my ideas. It is clear that I am passionate about research and this is something that I definitely want to pursue after I graduate from Stevenson University.