Last September, Homecoming weekend occured, a couple of days where alumni from around the world fly back to their alma mater to celebrate and support SJC. I spent these days socializing and asking questions to alum about their career paths, hoping to find out more about the job market and scouting for summer internships.

The Hodson Summer Internship Program funds or subsidizes Johnnie’s summer internships that would previously be unpaid or below minimum wage. Before coming to college I made a list of things to accomplish. A summer internship in neuroscience through the Hodson program, after my freshman year, was on that list. It was a daunting task seeing as I had no previous experience unlike a lot of undergrads who, interested in science, interned throughout high school.

But the alumni at Homecoming weekend put me at ease. They were all extremely supportive and willing to put me in contact with whomever they knew in related fields. They also were just generally friendly and wanted to know my thoughts on the program and how I felt just a couple months into freshman year.

Through the contacts I made at Homecoming plus correspondence with SJC’s Career Services Office I started to get in touch with more alums who talked to me on the phone for hours about the details of the neuroscience field. Eventually I was put in contact with an alum who is pursuing his graduate degree at Cornell University. He was doing this in an Experience and Cognition laboratory where he had interned one summer through the Hodson Program! This laboratory is run by Dr. Casasanto who has had experience with Johnnie interns and has been historically welcoming of them.

This lab is where I will be interning this summer. As a volunteer Research Assistant, I will be recruiting participants for studies, conducting background literature reviews, attending lab meetings, conducting lab studies, and coding data. Ultimately this experience will give me insight into the field as well as the day to day of laboratory work.

As someone with a passion for this neuropsychology I am excited to get involved and see up close what the job entails. I am nervous as I will be living on my own, subletting an apartment, far away from relatives and friends. But ultimately I am grateful for the opportunity to learn more now so as to prevent unideal choices in the future.

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