Last summer, I stayed in St. Louis and worked at a local real estate agency, in addition to completing fifty hours at a WashU psychology research lab. For every fifty hours I completed, I got one hour of course credit in psychology, which was a good deal for me as a psychology minor.
I sort of expected it to be a one-season type deal, to keep me busy in the summer. But this semester, I came back to the lab for more. I completed my psychology minor and don’t need the credit anymore, but it is seriously a great time.
The lab I work in is Personality Measurement and Development, or PMaD. Currently, the PMaD lab is working on many projects, one of which analyzes recordings of middle school students, to try and find discrepancies between different personality types and projected success. I listen to the recordings and code them for different topics. Let me just say, middle schoolers are pretty entertaining.
The lab is run by Professor Jackson, however I primarily work under the graduate students, Leah and Emorie. I can’t capitilize the letters enough when I say they are GREAT. I met Leah during a quick interview before last summer, and Emorie during training. They are both full of energy, always set a very positive and friendly attitude in the lab, and always bring food to each of the lab meetings.
At each lab meeting, which occur around once a week, they teach us something in their field, and we often take fun little tests to analyze our own personality types. In addition, they are happy to serve as mentors. One meeting we dedicated completely to talking about possible paths to take in the future, including benefits or drawbacks of going to graduate school, and the like. They are so happy to answer any questions, and are understanding if we ever get stuck working through a lab task. Because of the environment they have built, I was able to get to know the graduate students, and I even asked Leah to be a reference for an internship I’m interested in this summer.
I definitely plan to stick with the lab as long as I can make time for it, and in case you can’t tell, I definitely would recommend the experience to anybody who is even slightly interested in Psychology.
10/10 experience, would do again.