Anthropology (Bioarchaeology) Pre Grad Intern Sydney Vragel

Sydney VragelThis semester was a turning point in my life and reflected the chaos and turmoil that is the time right before graduation. Through this internship I learned a lot about my own interests and things I may be interested in pursuing after I finish my undergraduate studies. I have a newfound appreciation of the dedication, passion, and commitment that comes from being a graduate student. While my internship did not revolve around a research project, I hope to utilize the knowledge and discovery of my own interests in order to craft a research project next semester as I further advance my knowledge of the different ways in which I can explore all areas of my major and find what truly speaks to me in order to set up the next chapter of my life. What surprised me the most about this internship was discovering that I am not alone in my feelings of imposter syndrome, and that is completely acceptable to feel. I was surprised by the amount of work and time you must put in as a graduate student in order to complete a masters or a PhD, although no one ever said that mastery of a subject was an easy feat. I believe I will walk out of this internship with a newfound appreciation for the world of academia and the inner workings of life as a graduate student. I believe I am more prepared and have gained knowledge relating to the skills and time management that is so essential to furthering my career in academia. I feel fully prepared to not only apply to graduate school, but also to complete a higher-level degree and contribute my own research and ideas to my major as a whole.

Before going into this internship, my knowledge of what graduate school was like was very limited. Neither of my parents had gone to college, although my father had some experience in online college when he was middle aged and found himself in need of a degree. For this reason, I was severely lacking the skills and knowledge I needed to advance myself to something beyond a bachelor’s degree. What seemed like an impossible, distant goal has now become a completely realistic goal that I believe I can achieve within the year after my graduation from this university. I have learned my own interests and come out of this internship with a greater appreciation for my own hard work and drive to complete something that is important to me. I appreciate my graduate mentor and any and all time he put into helping me discover where my interests lie and patiently listening as I constantly questioned myself and where I truly wanted to go in life, as well as offering advice as things seemed to come up. Because of this internship, I was able to establish goals for future internships, as well as plans to reach out towards professors in my field of study in separate universities to further my own experience and hopefully to one day attend one of these universities as a graduate student. I hope to one day be able to provide to someone else what my graduate mentor provided for me.

While my future and pursuing graduate school is not secured due to recent tax bills, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to experience what it could be like, at least so I can gain knowledge and experience in my field of study to at least be better prepared for a career or potential research projects I hope to complete next semester. This internship has inspired me to pursue other internships in the same field that may provide me with extremely valuable experience and allow me to discover more about what I want out of my degree.