Skills that you can develop in your Research Visit or Internships- Reflections on the Visit of Thonon Les Bains, France

International research visits, internships or exchange programs and collaboration across national boundaries bring your research efforts to the next level and to the broader public which helps in better promotion or marketing. Some students asked me the ways to maximize the overall output of there internships or research visits in there undergraduate, Masters even Ph.D. school.

  1. Organize social meetups- The possible idea of organizing and meeting people in your internships in both formal and informal ways is quite similar to the way you meet people in any house parties or sports events discussing the love of sports and food. Also, you can always similar meeting in various digital tools such as google hangouts where you can organize a conference to the meeting call to discuss your potential project or put any of your query in the related fields. I recently started working with a non-profit organization in Canada which that organizes the social meet up using google hangouts to discuss the progress of the team in different domains which is indeed productive. As you get to engage with students working in the areas of a client meeting, organizing conferences or big events, expanding the team through collaboration with potential members.
  2. Try to document your internship work or idea in words or video authentically while keeping its originality as intact as possible.  Keep your content simple and user-friendly just like you enjoy user-friendly mobile apps. The content in your online platforms should describe the real which comes only if you have strong interpersonal communication skills. It is indeed an essential tool to organize different sort of social hangouts, which will keep the communication flowing in between the members. So, I always put forward my ideas with the potential person/s who is interested and wants to listen to your ideas.  Small things that have made the macro change in your project which could be a beginning of social media services such as a blog or youtube channel, creating new networks in linkedin and so on which can lead to a social hangout between the like-minded group.  Organizing and executing your internship or research visit in this manner which develops multiple skills such as the ability to collaborate and work in a team with the multicultural group and adapting to changing tools.
  3. Being an enthusiast student, I always have the opportunity to work on my interpersonal communication skills while working in different teams through internships, research visits, and conferences. In January 2018, I stayed in an institute in Thonon Les Bains which is in the north of Europe and is usually freezing in the month of January where the temperature can drop up to -15 C. The lab was just next to the massive lake known as Lac Leman from the French border and Lake Geneva Given from the  Swiss border. You can easily reach to most captivating cities of Switzerland- Lausanne, and Geneva by boat or an hour drive. It is a bit expensive to travel in Switzerland when you are living with a Spanish student scholarship. However, I managed to go to many places in France and Switzerland. I met my supervisor there, who introduced me to the lab members and current research going on in the department. Over the next 2.5 months, I worked alongside different Ph.D. students and technicians sharing the same house which was opposite to the workplace and the incredible Lake Leman. These international swings will break down your shyness and other traits that create a barrier for you, and further enhancing your confidence level to add more positive contributions to the team. Getting hands-on experience in an International organization can help you integrate into multicultural groups support you to go a long way towards global research and management teams. Therefore, Working in a multicultural team is an honor where you get to share different culture, cuisine, and stories. The purpose of the visit was to conduct experiments with the environmental samples and learn bioinformatics flow.  Learning algorithms to treat and analyze the big datasets is the base of future academic and industrial projects. If you learn to manage and handle big datasets, then you have already opened many doors for yourself.  This opportunity was the stepping stone to expand my limited knowledge of algorithms and possible uses of machine learning in biology. My main task was to prepare all the environmental samples for DNA sequencing that had to be sent to another laboratory for further processing and generate raw (unprocessed) computerized DNA data.

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Thonon Les Bains

4. I had the perfect and new challenges which ultimately gave me the interesting output for my knowledge base. Other than that, there are few moments especially when you are traveling in a strange country where people speak a language that is completely strange to you. The first few days were challenging but with passing days and changing climate; I was able to connect and make good relationships with all the colleagues and researchers. These opportunities give you the chance to have detailed stories which build the missing pillars in your journey either academic or non-academic. All these networking and learning events in the student journey are the fundamental blueprint which should be followed religiously i.e., to enjoy the process and work on networking thoroughly.

Think about your student life as the huge pillar formed of conversation and meetings either personal or professional which creates the base of your future projects in terms of collaboration and recommendations.

These strategies come along with certain emotions based on your experiences and what you have learned from it. It will happen like a rollercoaster ride if you believe in your projects and trying to figure out the ways to execute in million possible ways. However, I believe that every experience will be uplifting and rewarding in the later stages.

Maybe you can make 100 networks in 2019, Maybe 50 or Maybe you can make 1  Right now. Send that email.

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Dear Student Researchers, Now, you have your Chance !!!

The digital platform gives you 100% control to say and publish things loudly without any fear. Do you want tips to develop your digital work? Have you found your research or work interest? It does not matter if you are a first-year undergraduate or about to submit your Ph.D. thesis. There are 4 billion people on the internet, and the number is only going to rise. So, everyone has their share of attention.

In the beginning, students tend either to lose control as they face challenges in the project to move further making them quit before they have started. The interference of these movements and hurdles in your game are the warnings to calm down, take a step back, analyze and solve it. Instead, these hurdles should motivate you to make different moves. Especially, with the availability of the flexible tools which accepts alternative solution freely without any entrance exams or cut off the list.

Learning about digital tools online through various Internet laid the foundations to build my basic digital profile such as website, linkedin profile and a blog. Since I was in the late third year, I created my first blog and tried to involve as many undergraduate students in writing in different domains. The blog was not a success, but I learned many things about blogging, communication, and people management.

The undergraduate school is the perfect time to analyze the stillness between your ideas and execution. You may notice, if you are prepared to hustle and execute consistently, there will be regular and systematic progress in your vision. There is a moment of frustration and stillness, but most of us lack the courage to move into the next phase.

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Let me share an interesting story with you about Foldscope which is a microscope under $1. It was invented by the students and researchers of Stanford University. The first prototype was released back in 2010 and they have planned to distribute at least 1,000,000 foldscopes in the year 2020. So, It took almost 10 years to come at this level with so many resources. The product is incredible and revolutionary but it took a lot of hard work, research, patience, and consistency to achieve this masterpiece.  The moral of the story is that if you have an idea in your undergraduate school that you believe in and that this project will not make you wait for weekends to enjoy your life.

Instead, it will help you forgot the concept of weekends and understand and fall in love with the concept of passion and process more.  

The time cannot be more exciting. The age of fast information, fast communication, and fast processing is already existing with incredible infrastructure. You have got a super mobile phone and fast speed internet which does not leave us with any excuse to share our ideas with billions of people WITH A CLICK.

You have almost 5-6 years of University to understand and practice your skills and craft in different digital platforms to analyze the people response and further expectations. But I am sure that you will succeed and manage to find it out if you are consistent in your efforts.

The way of student life is already changing and the digital research or projects will contribute a big part in student success.  These digital platforms are not just for fitness, music and travel industry. There is a significant need to rave all these platforms with Students research and their philosophies. You have a way to replicate your knowledge in real and virtual life.

Why Create a Personal profile?

The digital profile will be the substitute for your CV or cover letter for your future applications and collaborations all over the world. The presence of the internet is essential to grab all the opportunities. The digital profile is fantastic and is way better than a piece of paper that highlights your grades and a couple of awards. It gives you more room and independence to sell yourself creatively.  It makes you visible to other people who can directly contact you even if you have not sent them your CV which opens opportunities from another way around. The employer or future collaborator have an idea of your vision and creativity from your wide presence on the Internet. If you are contributing the real values and content in the social media and digital platforms related to the subject of your future employer, it helps him to pre-evaluate you which can give you edge over other candidates.

It does not matter; if you enjoy or support the extensive use of social media, it is happening.  Getting and building your digital profile is not easy, but the access to the resources and unlimited free tools can make things happen with hard work, dedication, and mental focus. The primary thing about using a digital platform is content creation which can be done in multiple ways. It is indeed true that the starting point is always confusing. Now here is all the management and smart work lies ahead.

Content creation is easy if you are studying and creating content about the subject that you really like and deeply passionate about. It would be efficient and straightforward if you define a big theme which can be used to create multiple short pieces in the form of words, pictures, and art on different social media platforms.

Choose a theme or subject that you want to talk about and keep it as a seed of your further piece of content. The first thing you should do is create a large piece of content which could be in the form of video, article or podcast to be used as a reference to develop other related content. Writing or recording a detailed piece of content is much easier to accomplish as compared to short and specific content.

Let me give an example

If you are biologist interested in studying plant kingdom. Record or write your understanding about plant kingdom in detail which will subsequently be used to create other pillars of your digital profile. And in initial stages perfection is subjective, focus on the detailed information related to the subject. Once you have built the base of your content, you can try to create pictures or short video content suitable for other digital platforms like Instagram and blogging platforms that have a large population of graduates, master and other tech researchers who will be interested in scientific content.

Furthermore, you can create content for the people who are interested in enhancing their information about plants based on medical properties or geographical regions. The first way is to develop useful microcontent to grab the attention of the people. Microcontent only takes 30 seconds to 1 minute of your selected population in return of helpful information that you give them

Digital Researcher demonstrates the immense potential to challenge the routine of the Universities and Schools. Public opinion about your work will be of utmost importance in the coming days and will produce a more significant number of digital researchers in science which won`t require any green signal from the defined body.

The public will be happy to see the freelancer researchers changing the regular pattern of defined work as many of them are heavily funded with tax payer’s money. But the public is never being informed about the output of their tax money.  The digital world is making the world more transparent which is a big advantage to the independent researchers or freelance researchers.