Laura interned with the Center for Survey Research working in all aspects of survey work from drafting survey instruments and programming them into Qualtrics, to analyzing data, to conducting interviews and participating in client meetings.
“Working at CSR has grown my interest in a career involving survey research and has given me ideas about how I might combine that with my other professional interests. "
Laura's PhD program was in the Department of Politics; her dissertation examines how presidential credibility influences public support for military interventions.
Why did you choose to intern with the Cooper Center, Center for Survey Research?
I learned about the CSR and the PhD+ program from an advising session with Sonali Majumdar. I decided to apply because I was looking for an opportunity to gain experience in a more applied research setting, and I wanted to learn more about the field of survey research in general.
What projects did you work on during your internship?
I have done tasks like drafting survey instruments and programming them into Qualtrics, cleaning and analyzing data, conducting interviews to pretest a questionnaire, submitting IRB protocols, and have been involved in meetings with clients.
What have you learned as a result of your internship?
Almost everything I’ve done while working at CSR has been a learning experience. I had little previous experience in things like instrument design, and I have also learned new practical skills, such as using SPSS and Qualtrics.
Has your experience at 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?
Yes! Learning about survey development and implementation has been very useful for my own research, as my dissertation will involve at least one survey experiment. Working at CSR has also grown my interest in a career involving survey research and has given me ideas about how I might combine that with my other professional interests.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoy being able to work on a variety of projects at all different stages of the research process, and I especially enjoy working on questionnaire development.
Would you recommend the PhD Plus Program to future students?
Absolutely! I am having a fantastic experience working at CSR and have learned so much. I have also really enjoyed working with this group of people, and they have been very generous in providing opportunities for me to learn and grow.