Allie Symonds '18
During my time at UNE, I did an internship at Sweetser in the Crisis Unit working with children ages 5–17. When my internship was over, I was offered a job as a youth and family counselor in the crisis unit where I worked for about a year until moving on to digital research. I am grateful that UNE provides internship opportunities for students while they’re in school because it provides on-the-ground experiences that you aren’t able to get in the classroom. For me, it showed me that I did not want to pursue the counseling/therapy track and instead focus on research.
I took a few research classes but the most influential experience I had was working in the Self and Close Relationship Lab. I started in the lab as a freshman and it opened my eyes to another side of psychology I didn’t know was available. While working in the lab I gained extensive experience in all aspects of the research process and currently use much of what I learned in my full-time job. I wouldn’t be on the track I am — on the career path I’m on — if I hadn’t gotten involved in undergraduate research. The number of hours I spent in the lab along with the ability to work one-on-one with Dr. Peterson afforded me so many experiences and learning opportunities that aren’t available through only classes.