As my end date approaches, it has come to my attention those internships should definitely be longer than a few months. An internship is an opportunity to grow and learn and to apply whatever it is that you learned in your didactic courses in the real world. However, in a mere 3-4 months, the skills I’ve learned surround data collection, curriculum development, and evaluation has been instrumental in developing as a public health professional.
In one of the courses required at Hunter College, Research Symposium, students learned an array of research methods and concepts. Students learned to properly conduct literature reviews, evaluations, and research methods. As mentioned preciously, part of the work that was required of me was to evaluate and conduct a major literature review on how front-line staff communicates with their adolescent patients. The most difficult part of this fieldwork project must have been the freedom that was given to me to create an evaluation to a curriculum. I was given the opportunity to be free and creative with the evaluation component of the project. That meant that my ideas and concepts would be greatly evaluated at the end of the final piece. There is really no right or wrong way to develop an evaluation, however, one must still follow a strict outline in order to develop an effective piece. The layout, the questions, the colors, the font, the page size, the wording, the branding – all of theses integral components of an evaluation were left up to me to decide. I took this opportunity to do just that – I was creative, yet informative, while still maintaining the critical structures of an effective evaluation. The end product certainly, was profound in its work. It captured all the data needed for reporting, it was legible and easy to read, the layout was navigationally easy, and core concepts of evaluation were kept and maintained throughout. This idea was kept throughout the evaluation components of other curriculums; Keep It Real With Your Doctor & Patient, Adolescent Standardized Patient Project, and Front-Line Training.
I also had the opportunity of learning much about literature reviews and how critical they are in finding new areas that lack in fundamental research. At NARAL, I was asked to conduct a literature review on Front-line training and on minor’s rights. However, the minor’s rights literature review assignment was later handed to another intern because of my workload. Learning how to effectively research, compile, and present past findings in a literature review has helped me tremendously in my work at NARAL. However, the art of conducting literature reviews, takes practice, but are very helpful in identifying new areas or questions for research. Thankfully, at NARAL, I had the opportunity to practice these skills.