Child Development (Nursing IE Pre-Grad) Senior Kimberly Kresta
When joining in with Henry on this experience at the Nursing school I was not sure what to expect. Of course I wanted to find out more about graduate school, what it was all about, how much work graduate school entailed, costs, deadlines and overall opportunities it would provide for me in the future. With these goals in mind I have already learned so much and have gotten more than what I anticipated from this internship. My mentor guided me in recruiting participants, presenting at conferences, writing abstracts, creating posters for conferences, and searching for organizations throughout the country in order to recruit women for our Menopausal Research study. Working with Henry, I have had the opportunity to also attend and present at a rather large conference presented by the Nursing school (CHPR-The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations). After writing an abstract, submitting it and being accepted, I created a poster presentation for the conference (with the help of my Mentor and one other staff member as editors). When attending the conference, I was one of few undergraduates who attended. I met many students in graduate school, professors of graduate school all over the United States, and Deans at our local Nursing school. When being introduced to the Dean of graduate studies of the Nursing school here at UT, I was excited. She offered more information about programs I should consider applying to. I was able to discuss part of the process, competition and work that graduate school entailed. I found out some information about the school that will be helpful when applying. I also was able to follow up with her later on and scheduled a meeting with her. I was able to get more paperwork on the program and exactly what it entailed, asking questions about applications, GRE scores, and research projects. I found out that when entering one of the special programs in the Nursing school, you must already have a proposal for a research project ready before even beginning the program.
This experience has opened my eyes up to the Master's program offered here at UT as well as the accelerated PHD program, which was introduced to me while presenting at the conference. I had never really thought about getting a PHD but now I am planning on applying for the program that will begin next June. Also, while at the conference I met many people with advice on how to improve recruitment with Hispanic women through the internet. The menopausal study that I have been working with has increased in participant numbers since my arrival and has started an online forum with Hispanic women, which I am apart of. This experience has opened me up to the world of research and has shown me that opportunities are available. I just need to go after them and get to know interesting, dedicated individuals along the way. My mentor was very encouraging, well informed, and shared many stories with me of how graduate school classes are, the type of work involved, etc. It was especially awesome learning with Henry because he is not only a student. He is a father of six children and holds a full time job. It is nice to know that you can still have a life outside of graduate school, as long as you work hard.
Another aspect of this internship was the meetings with all of the interns. Hearing from each person's perspective of how their internship was going was very interesting. We also had professors, advisors, and mentors attend the meetings. Having them available to answer questions about their experiences, helped answers my questions about applying, when to apply, what to look for when applying to schools, etc. Overall I enjoyed this internship and would recommend it to any undergraduates in Nursing and Non-nursing majors. Even if you are not considering grad school, it is still a great experience to learn and grow from.