Why you should intern at one of SeAMK's international projects?
During 2019 I was looking for an internship and by chance I noticed, that the Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences was recruiting a research assistant for international project. I thought that would be right up my alley as an international business student. Therefore, I applied and landed my internship in SeAMK School of Health Care and Social Work. The project in question is part of European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The name of the project is Child-up and seven European countries are conducting it jointly. The main goal of the project is to research how migrant children adjust to their new surroundings, to develop new ways to help ease the integration of future migrants.
Top five reasons why apply for internship on international project
You can work independently.
During my time with the Child-up project, I had set thing to do, but how I did them was up to me. While the amount of freedom is good it also means that when the time is up you have to have something to show for it. Fortunately, time has never been an issue during my internship even though sometimes you have to be aware of the time and push through.
You are part of the team, not just an intern.
For many students, their internship consists of doing mundane tasks that are seen fit for an intern in some dark corner of the office with barely working equipment. My experience with SeAMK and the Child-up project was the opposite. From the start, my workstation was in a nice room with standing table and quite good computer for the work I do with the possibility to get a second monitor if needed. It was clear to me that I would be doing work that mattered and needed to be done so that the project could move forward.
Chance to participate different stages of research.
I had the chance to work in every phase of survey research. I designed e-surveys, which is not as easy as it sounds as many of the issues can go unnoticed until someone who thinks differently compared to you tries the survey. In addition, I had a chance to collect survey data in the field and hold the surveys for one of our target groups. As the name of the project suggests, children are one of the target groups, so the surveys were hold during classes. Having the chance to go out and visit schools was the best part of the internship and lots of fun. One of the reasons why it was as fun as I let on is that completely basic part of the survey can be alien to some children. For example, the concept of signature. Trying to explain something so trivial to someone who has no idea what it means leads to some interesting discussions.
Experience on handling research data.
Having experience of using Excel and SPSS is beneficial to any student. During the Child-up project, I have worked many hours with both of the programs and I can definitely say that I am now miles better using both of them. The experience you gain doing work with these programs is different when compared, for example to the experience you get from doing exercises for a course. Working with real data have forced me to learn how to use them efficiently to maximize the capabilities of the programs.
Working in an international environment.
While I did not directly interact with the foreign partners, I have witnessed how the communication works between the partners. It has been interesting to observe what kind of success and troubles they are having. Culture differences are very apparent when teams are interacting with each other. For example, some teams are very liberal with their time management while others are more precise with it.
In short, I can say that I have fully enjoyed my internship at SeAMK. The work with the project has been very interesting and inspiring.
Harjoittelija/Tutkimusassistentti Child-up hankkeessa.
SeAMK Sosiaali- ja terveysala