Temple Student Pamela Jackson, a Geography and Urban Studies major, spent her summer conducting research and surveying social values along the Upper Missouri River Basin. Read more below to learn more about her interesting summer experience!
What organization did you intern with?
University of South Dakota, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates
What is/was your job function, and what does a typical day entail?
In a typical day, I would travel to a town in North Dakota, South Dakota or Montana and conduct surveys on what resident’s value about the land and how they use it.
In addition to conducting surveys, I was also collecting data for an individual research project. My research was about The Impact of Agriculture and Development in the Micropolitan Community of Yankton, South Dakota, on which I presented a poster at the epScor Research Symposium in South Dakota in late July.
How did you find out about this opportunity, and what was the interview process like?
The Geography and Urban Studies Department sent out emails about different REU Programs, then I went to the NSF Website and looked for more programs to apply to. The interview process was great. I interviewed with the Grad student who I worked with since it was her research project. We were able to connect about our passions since we had similar interests.
How has your internship related to your coursework?
My major is Geography and Urban Studies, which includes a variety of topics. However, I was able to learn about different places this summer and how the lifestyles of residents depended on the area that they live in. Many of my courses examine the landscape, how people use their environment, and if they live sustainably. I learned about sustainable living through the Sustainable River REU in South Dakota.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned during your internship/job experience?
I learned that a connection can be made with anyone. By conducting door-to-door surveys I was able to connect with residents and hear their stories. I was able to understand the lifestyle of residents that live in the Midwest, which was interesting since I am from the East Coast. Additionally, I learned that research can be used to examine how residents feel about the opportunities that they currently have and can be used as a platform for the future.
What piece of advice would you give to current students embarking on an internship/job search?
Apply for different programs, because you never know what types of experiences you could have if you decide to do things that you never imagined doing before.
Did the career center assist you in any way, whether it was identifying the opportunity, applying to it, interviewing for it, or preparing for it?
The Rapid Resume Reviews allowed me to gain feedback on ways to edit my resume and display experiences that were relevant.
Have you learned any valuable lessons about obtaining jobs/internships during your time at Temple?
Yes. Do not be afraid to deviate from the norm. Seek experiences and travel to places to do work that you are passionate about.