This summer I had the opportunity to complete an 8-week internship as part of the School of Psychology’s Silver Athena Swan commitments, supervised by Dr Clare Sutherland. The motivation behind my internship was to investigate the shift in psychology from a majority male field in its first hundred years to a majority female field in the past forty years (Beasley et al. 2021). I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do this internship and want to thank the School of Psychology for funding me, Dr Clare Sutherland for supervising me and Elsa Anderson and Tyra More for being incredible colleagues.
The internship involved designing a qualitative study, applying for ethics, recruiting and interviewing participants and analysing data. I’d never conducted research before and found that I really enjoyed it. The internship gave me ideas for further research I’m hoping to be able to pursue in the future (e.g. for my fourth year research project). I also had the opportunity to present papers relevant to my research as well as listen to other lab members present papers at weekly Lab meetings, and I was very fortunate that the people I got to collaborate with in Dr Sutherland’s lab consistently went out of their way to welcome and support me.
I have work experience in health, social and childcare settings and always saw myself as returning to that line of work after my degree. However, doing this internship has expanded my horizons, and I’m now considering career options I wouldn’t have otherwise, including research and industry. I realised that I would like a balance between practically working with people as well as to be able to keep learning and researching, exploring new frontiers in the area I worked in. I would highly recommend an internship to any student at the School – whether or not you are thinking of a research career!
Beasley, Samuel T. et al. “Other Fields Are More Lucrative and Sexy": A Qualitative Examination of the Low Number of Men in Psychology.” Journal of career development 48.2 (2021): 182–196. Web.
Simon will begin his third year of undergraduate studies in September 2023.