Laura was a research assistant for the Center for Survey Research assisting with the creation, implementation and analysis of the Survey of Undergraduate Research, the BeHeardCVA community survey and the UVA Climate survey.
“My experience at CSR shaped the path I took in my career. It gave me many skills that I currently apply at my job...as a research associate for a pharmaceutical research company. My involvement at CSR in project development, data cleaning, and the weekly office meetings to discuss projects allowed me to quickly grasp the tasks I was given when I started my new job."
Research Assistant, Center for Survey Research
Laura was earning a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and Psychology and then a Master's Degree in Education from UVA's School of Education and Human Development while working at the Center for Survey Research.
Why did you choose to intern with the Weldon Cooper Center, Center for Survey Research (CSR)?
During my last year as an undergraduate, I worked quite a bit in datasets and analyzing data. As I started my graduate degree, I wanted to get some experience outside the classroom that would allow me to explore datasets more and understand how research is applied. When I saw the job posting in a Curry email, I figured it would be a great opportunity for me to apply my education while gaining real world experience.
What projects did you work on during your internship?
One project that I spent a decent amount of time on, and was able to see from start to finish, was the SEAS Survey of Undergraduate Research. Other than that project, I spent time on BeHeard CVA and UVA Climate Survey.
What have you learned as a result of working at CSR?
I learned the importance of clear survey wording and ease of use for survey takers. I also learned good data cleaning skills and code commenting. Lastly, I learned good workplace communication.
Has your experience in the CSR helped you in your academic studies, given you skills you can use in a future career or helped you to think differently about your academic and/or career path?
My experience at CSR shaped the path I took in my career. It gave me many skills that I currently apply at my job. I work as a research associate for a pharmaceutical research company. During my interview process, I pulled a lot of examples from my time at CSR. My involvement at CSR in project development, data cleaning, and the weekly office meetings to discuss projects allowed me to quickly grasp the tasks I was given when I started my new job. I was also quickly deemed the Qualtrics master, which I can attribute to my time at CSR.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Even though I was working minimal hours a week, I was included in meetings, communication, and decisions around the projects CSR was working on. This allowed me to grow my knowledge on items that I wasn't directly working on. I could also reach out to any of my coworkers and ask for help when I found myself facing issues or not understanding something.
Would you recommend working at the CSR to future students?
I would recommend working at CSR to other students. Not only is it a flexible job to hold as a student, but the CSR gives so many opportunities for students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to situations outside of the classroom. It’s a great place for growth!