Internship Story by Ada from Bangor University
“In late February 2020 year, I started my internship in the Centre for Mental Health and Society in collaboration with the Bangor School of Health Sciences as part of the ‘undergraduate internship scheme’. This was a project-based internship where I assisted Professor Peter Huxley and Dr. Sadia Nafees to conduct a systematic review in the use of Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA) in clinical trials and evaluation of mental health service outcomes.
During this internship, I had undertaken literature searches on serval university databases and participated in the scoping searches as well as abstract and full-text screenings for the inclusion of papers. I also had a chance to participate in staff discussions to resolve differences of opinion in the inclusion/exclusion of papers. In addition, I participated in the data extraction and analysis processes where I assisted Dr. Nafees in retrieving useful information from 37 relevant peer-reviewed journals. Although I was not able to attend more face-to-face meetings due to the COVID pandemic, I was lucky enough to have understanding staffs who guided and supported me through the whole review process online. As a final year undergraduate student, this was my first experience in conducting a systematic review and this internship definitely gave me a valuable opportunity to learn beyond undergraduate level use of databases and reviewing techniques. Not only this internship enhanced my critical appraisal skills and provided me with a teamwork experience within a project focus, but it also provided me with insights as a researcher which undoubtedly further my interest in research and in psychology.
Most importantly, with my brief internship experience here in CFMHAS, I have a better understanding of myself as in what I would like to pursue for my future career. A few months ago, the knowledge and skills that I have gained in this internship allowed me to have another opportunity to work as a research assistant at the University of Hong Kong Department of Psychiatry, on a population-based epidemical study and projects focusing on early psychosis and schizophrenia researches. I am extremely grateful for the opportunities this internship provides where I also got accepted to a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Glasgow Caledonian University a few months ago after my undergraduate degree. To sum up, this internship allows me to broaden my perspective in academic reviewing and strengthen and research skills; it also provides me with amazing opportunities that I have never expected to have. I would like to express my gratitude to Professor Peter Huxley and Dr. Sadia Nafees, for giving me such valuable opportunity and guidance throughout my internship. I very much enjoyed my short time here and I believe that this experience not only benefits my future studies and research in so many ways but also will be something that I remembered along my career pathway as a psychologist-to-be.”
I also want to say a huge thank you to Dr. Sadia Nafees, who was my supervisor for this MANSA project. She did way more than what a supervisor usually does in the sense that she helped me to grow as a researcher and as a person. When I first met her, I was still an undergraduate student who didn’t even know anything about research nor systematic review. She was very patient and helpful throughout these four months and she tried her best to address all the questions and any confusion I had along the way. I genuinely enjoyed working side-by-side with her, I love the chemistry/ connection that we have. She is knowledgeable, smart, and organized yet very humble, caring, patience, and kind in every way. From paper screening to data extraction, she taught me everything she knows, and I know she put so much time and effort in helping me to grow as a better researcher. Even I was a student, one thing I appreciated and love about her is that she was open-minded enough to consider my opinions and she’s always up for a chat or discussion regarding the research. Apart from being such a wonderful supervisor and colleague, she supported me as a friend. She will send a text to me on a random day just to check if I am doing alright. She would send me links to conferences or videos that she thinks I would be interested in. She also gave me advice on planning my career and supported me when I somehow doubted my ability. She is genuinely a sweet and supportive person who makes everyone next to her smile. To sum this up, I wouldn’t have done this review without her and I am very blessed and grateful to have such an amazing supervisor and would love to work with her again if I have a chance in the near future!”
Ka Nam Siu (Ada)