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 and How to maximize networking in your University?

In my experience of University, I was looking for people who had experience or can share insights of working in the laboratory or real projects. Everything is depended on your preferences of hanging out with different groups whose values tend to overlap with each other directly or indirectly. Always note and analyze the social groups that you hang out for work and outside work.  It ultimately depends on an individual about his choices to manage networks and time.  The benefit of extensive and diverse networking as it produces multiple results and lets you decide with whom you naturally connect conveniently.  These different inputs that come with diverse groups or networking can help you determine your personal and professional goals.  University is the best place to initiate investing time in your networking to grow your professional network at different levels. The important thing is to be present in small and large scale events and hold on to the networking part. It is better to invest time in both academic and non-academic affairs as it provides you the diverse picture of the professional world.

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Once you start initiating your independent projects along with other students or collaborators in the nearby communities, consider expanding your projects outside the known area. Interacting with like-minded online communities, bloggers and researchers can broaden your horizon. It will provide various other alternatives in return to your time invested in online communities. It is easy to create an online event or workshop and promote it alongside like-minded research students or entrepreneurs in the university.

Collaborating your fresh idea with someone who brings in another skill is something that can bring in a higher value. That`s what I did to improve my scientific writing skills by connecting with science blogs and portals with different areas of specialty. By Connecting in online platforms, I was aiming to write for new blogs either paid or not paid. I discovered that I was able to use my previous learnings and share it in simple words for which I got paid 75$ per post. Usually, most of the students find it difficult to understand that it depends on your continuous engagement with your talents and skills that creates more clarity in your vision. My aim for the next five years was to increase my practical experiences to broaden my view about everything and create maximum innovative ideas. The experiences should not have any conclusion but will be good if it overlaps with the next lesson that will take you a better position in your professional life.

The network that you make in University time while working in a social or cultural clubs, internships, conferences or community service will always add a definite point in your diverse experiences. Every experience in your university can help you and your team in various ways by developing your skills like imagination, originality, team-working, novelty, resilience, IT skills, and innovation. Diverse experiences come with understanding about the sense of commitment, responsibility, not using excuses and adaptability in a different working environment.  It will be the foundation of your personal and professional life, and sometimes it begins in the places you don`t imagine. The main point is to understand that networking is always improvising along with a consistent change in your social circle or relationships when needed. In any place, Being spontaneous in different channels will help you to make your future proof and keep your overall structure intact.

Recognizing the values that you gain from all your experience and fellow researchers, you can gain access to both right persons and the right place to execute next ideas on your career path. Perfect synchronization of your communication and networking will maximize the overall output of your decision. The quality of your communication and network is the most powerful ally for your ideas which is understood more if your communication is vital and impactful in every move you make. Now you know that communication is an essential factor for all the process and there is a need for a particular emphasis on the use of your networking and communication.

I do not recommend joining a course in communication or business because no school can teach communication and networking that work well for your weird and incredible imagination. Moreover, it will only add burden in your daily routine in addition to your degree programs. Instead, try to identify the networks that align with your area of interest.

Especially in today`s era, when you can express yourself and communicate in a million ways using words, videos, pictures, and animations and reach out to millions of people.

The only suggestion- Practice, Practice, Practice- It is understood that it is a little frightening or anxious while contacting an unknown person either professor or student. But ultimately with practice, you will cope with all the unexpected responses and gentle tweaks in your projects.