A Most Invaluable Learning Experience

During her first internship as a Dickinsonian, Marguerite Adams '18 is using her experience to shape her future goals after graduation.

Marguerite Adams '18, The Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Johns Hopkins 



Internship title:

Research intern.

How I got this internship:

I got this internship by networking with family and/or personal connections.

What I did:

Throughout my six-week internship at the Lieber Institute of Brain Development, a nonprofit research facility, I worked side-by-side with Dr. Caroline Zink to analyze and write a research paper. Toward the beginning of this internship, I analyzed brain scans and recorded the coordinates of activation in three brain areas: the amygdala, the fusiform gyrus, and Brodmann’s Area-17. Once this data was collected, I helped analyze related papers in order to write our own publishable paper. In addition, I attended the Schizophrenia Center Annual Symposium, where I was updated with new findings about the brain and human behavior from the director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and many other accomplished researchers in this field.

Most valuable part of this experience:

It is crucial to have multiple internships. This process allows you to better understand what you do and do not like about certain professions. It is impossible to know what type of job will make you happy for the rest of your life if you do not experience it firsthand. As a result of this research experience, I learned that I would prefer to work in a field that has daily contact with patients. In a research field, the only contact a researcher has with patients is during the data collection phase.

Advice for students considering internships:

My advice to peers considering an internship is to keep your mind open throughout the internship. Before beginning this internship, I knew I enjoyed working with people and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy research or not, but I did not let it stop me from fully embracing the experience.

How this internship has helped me:

I learned a lot about what I do and do not want to do when I graduate from Dickinson. Although I enjoy the process of publishing newly found knowledge, I would prefer working and engaging with people. I shadowed a physician assistant last winter break and fell in love with this profession.

Post-Dickinson plans:

After graduating from college next May, my goal is to attend school to become a physician assistant.

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Published September 14, 2017