Though Longwood is a university and not the same as a professional work setting, it is still a professional setting. I tend to act more informally in classes, but I do know when it’s time to be more formal and work as a professional. I’ve presented at our research showcase as well as been an audience member for other presentations, and I believe that I am able to perform competently in a professional setting.
Research internship: While at Longwood, I worked on a research internship with Dr. Dale Beach. There were a few of us working on this research, and I wanted to make sure that I was participating appropriately and remaining professional throughout the internship. This was my first real professional experience at Longwood, so I had never been as involved in a professional research assignment, and I was struggling with how to be a research professional which I had never been before. I tried my hardest to give ideas for how to perform and move forward with our research as well as volunteer to be more involved and fill out funding proposals. Because I had never done this before, Dr. Beach was very patient and helped me through a lot of the professional aspects of being a participant on an independent research project. After the internship was over, I sat down with Dr. Beach who had filled out a rubric sheet about my participation in the internship and we debriefed on the experience. He said he noticed my continued effort and appreciated me going out of my way to help out. I received very positive feedback overall, and the experience helped me feel more confident as a research professional.
Modern genetics: One of the largest projects and presentations I did throughout my time at Longwood was in my modern genetics class. We worked all semester on our research and used our final exam period to present what we had found. These were individual half hour presentations in our classroom, but were still professional representations of our work. After my time with a group research project and presentation with my internship, I had some experience doing research and finding the best way to relay the information to a larger audience. I felt confident going into my presentation because I made sure to be thorough in my research and make slides that helped demonstrate all that I had done. I dressed professionally, tried to initiate appropriate discussion with the audience to keep them engaged as well as make sure they were following appropriately. I made sure to thank the audience and answer any questions before finishing my presentation. While others were presenting, I made sure to participate and ask questions appropriately to support the hard work that they put into their projects. Though this was not at the research showcase, it was one of the most professional presentations I’ve done at Longwood and definitely the most professional one I did alone. I think it went incredibly well and I was really proud of the work I did for it.
Link to Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1aJ29nqyepYHggSLIbYOfkM_bzSwWX66W7P3PcyJ7Ix4/edit?usp=sharing
Incite: One of the most unique professional experiences I’ve had at Longwood is when I wrote a paper for submission to our student research journal, Incite. I originally wrote the paper as a class research paper. I got feedback from my professor, Dr. Franssen, which mentioned that it would be a good candidate for Incite and offered to help me edit it to submit. Working one-on-one with my professor to edit my paper is something I hadn’t done before, but I very much enjoyed. I had also never edited a paper with someone else, so the experience was new to me. Dr. Franssen gave me notes and suggestions but also valued my own opinions about my paper and left what went into the final draft up to me. I think we were able to make my paper much better than the original draft and I submitted it to Incite. I then received formal communication and more edits from other professors and Longwood staff to finalize it for submission. This was the first time I ever wrote professionally and I think it went well. The paper was just printed in Incite and I received an award for excellence in research and inquiry from Longwood.