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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How to Win Scholarships? Focus on quality of communication and networking

When I say Quality, I refer this term with more clarity. Clear communication with your colleagues, family members or supervisors always leads to a better conclusion. And sometimes these clear communications are hard but necessary.

The communication and networking are indeed the most potent friend of yours which will only nourish with practice. Quality is to be respected, but it is entirely subjective in today`s world. The various components of communication tools allow us to create an emphasis if we make the correct use of them strategically.

My suggestion is straightforward “Quality of communication is important but subjective” therefore speed should be the focus while you are pursuing your Undergraduate or Masters. When we are using digital tools, it is the practice that will improve your art of communication in different social media platforms or other official tools such as Gmail or LinkedIn where you can connect with your future leaders or supervisors easily. Nowadays, the Internet and social media have given attention to each one of us.

Traditional institutes teach students communication in a structured manner which usually won’t synchronize with today’s world. Communication tools are quite flexible, and it can never be practiced when a person is tensed, restricted and is being marked upon his skills. Traditional communication teaching is safe to get a job when they are prepared to connect in alignment with the company vision and mission. When the time comes to relate all this with the current situation in undergraduate school, it is a bit complicated. One cannot depend on the traditional communication strategies or university as it will never teach you about networking or other essential tools required for the real world.

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If you are planning to launch an independent project, then the traditional communication strategies will not work as it does not bring in the personal sense of control or connect you to the target audience which is highly variable. It is neither adaptable to presently available digital platforms.

The present communication platforms demand the greater quantity, depth of the subject and personal sense of involvement. You will need to alter your strategies depending on the tools which may require less quantity but more quality. There is no standard book or practice which must be followed to communicate and make a network.  Communication is a two-way process which will develop automatically based on individual or group of people with whom you want to interact.

It will never become refined and perfect without practice as the market and consumers are constantly changing depending on the overall technology and environment. Understanding consumer behavior in one shot is not an easy task and to understand this process requires a greater quantity of content with depth.

Now, you have so many platforms and devices to form networks and connect with researchers all over the world. If you want to accomplish and win in either academic or non-academic scholarship, you need to understand the importance of both traditional and digital communication.

I learned to connect and partner with fellow students both in University and digital platforms. One of my friends, Tania who was quite popular in social and cultural clubs was aware of the marketing and business tools who introduced me to many young students in University who wanted to explore more in the area of scientific research. I would not have been connected with all these students otherwise. At that time, I was a bit struggling to get the correct idea of scientific writing or communication which is again not taught in the University. So, I used this opportunity of interacting with other students to keep my focus on writing by collaborating with students having different research interests. I had no intentions or goals about the outcome but to follow my steps uniformly to improve my scientific writing. Writing and editing many articles with other students allowed me to refine my work with more precision. The key for you is to be conscious of the resources that you can have or generate in your area.

Further, I explored that undergraduate students have formed the society to promote Undergraduate students work. They have established the journal which is run by undergraduate students for undergraduate students. So, I contacted the team of Journal of undergraduate research at Colorado State University that is managed by only undergraduate students. Working with the different cultural groups in digital platforms gives you more advanced insights from hundreds of new articles and operating principles.

If you are applying for Global Ph.D. scholarship, applications will be pouring from all the over the world which will be highly competitive. Therefore, the network and communication that you have developed in your undergraduate school while participating in internships, conferences, symposiums or publication time will help you to use those skills while competing for international scholarships.