Walking into my first day at my internship at the Sidanius Lab at Harvard University, my greatest apprehensions stemmed from my lack of research experience. But after a few weeks, my worries have already been consoled with the realization that I am more prepared than I anticipated. Naturally, my psychology background has proven to be both extensive and helpful as I have been able to directly apply the material I have learned in the classroom. But the greatest preparation has proven to be my ability to think critically.
The nature of research requires researchers to consider much more than their field of interest. It requires creativity and the ability to generate objective explanations. I am acquiring this skill through the liberal arts education that I am receiving from Boston College. Enrolling in a diverse course load requires using different techniques of learning and application for each subject. So, I have learned to examine things holistically while creatively applying the techniques and properties of other fields into psychology.
The Sidanius lab has a strong focus on social psychology—a branch that examines social interactions as well as their causes and implications on individuals’ lives and existence (i.e. power, hierarchy, racism, etc.) And this where my passion enters the picture, which I believe sets me apart. Boston College has granted me various service opportunities that have inscribed the commitment to social justice into my character. In my eyes, the greatest task at hand is creating a world where social justice is achieved for all people and this requires that we fight this battle together and on all fronts. And the mission of the Sidanius lab serves as a constant reminder of the work that I hope to do that will continue to shape me into the woman I aspire to be.
Written by Vanessa Medor, BC Class of 2017