Ecem Kunter’s Summer 2017 SPUR Reflection

Ecem Kunter headshotAn Experience I Would Only Dream Of!

Approximately a year ago, I was trying to plan my future like every senior college student. Even though I had many ideas for how to pursue my academic career, I had little life experience to decide among them.

I knew that the only way to make up my mind was to use every opportunity to figure out my interests and capabilities. That is why when I heard about SPSP Summer Internship Program for Undergraduate student Program (SPUR), I applied with a great excitement. Fortunately, I was accepted and I spent my 8 weeks working in Asst. Prof Schroeder’s lab.

 When I first received my acceptance letter, I was both thrilled and terrified. Even though I had experience working as a research assistant, I had never worked in a different university than my current university. Nevertheless, I bought my ticket and flew into the unknown.

Since I have never left my home land for this long before, I felt very overwhelmed for a while but that was until I arrived at University of California, Berkeley; the university I was assigned for my internship. I quickly realized this was one of the best decisions I have made.

During my time at UC Berkeley, I had the privilege to work with Asst. Prof. Juliana Schroeder and her lab manager, Briana Bottle. They are two of the kindest and most helpful people I have met in my life. Asst. Prof Schroeder was working with many different projects with many talented students. Being a part of those projects helped me to gain and improve my research skills in various ways.

In those projects, I experienced doing field and lab studies, preparing surveys on Qualtrics, and organizing time slots for participants. Above all, I had the opportunity to prepare a script, surveys, and instructions for a new project which will be started soon.

I have always dreamed to complete graduate school abroad because I thought It could be helpful for my academic career. However, I was not sure if I would like that experience or be equipped to deal the hardship ahead.

This experience gave me the confidence to improving my abilities and widen my world. Now I know that everything is possible if you really like what you do and work hard enough. I have always loved social-personality psychology, but now I am confidently considering developing a career in this area.

I did not want this experience to end and I enjoyed every minute of it. However, I left Berkeley with a promise that I will never forget the experience I had and I will always be open for new, daring opportunities. It was definitely the most amazing summer I’ve had and an experience I would only dream of!

I thank SPSP for providing this kind of an opportunity for me and I also thank Asst. Prof Schroeder, Ms. Bottle and my friends who were in the research group with me for making this opportunity so rewarding, both academically and socially.