As if the stress of midterms weren’t enough (it’s the middle of a rather disheartening 7-week season with 1-2 tests per week), it’s time to start looking for my summer internship. The department of epidemiology requires completion of an internship to earn your Master’s Degree, and the great internship opportunities, especially those abroad, were one of the reasons that I came to UM. One of the hardest aspects is choosing a realistic project – everyone wants to save the world, but there’s only so much that you can do in a summer, and unless you plan well you run the risk of coming back with nothing.
The coursework that I’ve taken so far has helped me plan out the projects tremendously – I’m now comfortable identifying what I need to accomplish and I have some ideas as to how to go about collecting the data. However, I’m also realizing how little I know and how much I still have to learn before being able to make any concrete plans.
One aspect that I’ve decided is that I’ll be going abroad to complete my internship (while I’d like to go abroad regardless, the international health track requires that I complete the internship in a developing county, which adds a nice level of extra motivation). There are a few projects that I’m interested in, ranging from the effects of parasite co-infection on endemic Burkitt’s Lymphoma in Kenya to incidence of colorectal cancer in young Egyptians. While I’m still very much in the planning process, I’m excited to get started and to being putting a project together.