This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Veenadhari Kollipara, COL ’22
It has been such a great experience being a part of Penn GRIP this summer. Despite the virtual nature of the internship, my time working on involuntary commitment for the University of Auckland has made me more interested in global mental health. I am grateful to my supervisor, Dr. Timothy Fadgen, for being guiding me during this project and for also being understanding of the difficulties I faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to learning more about a social sciences topic, I’ve also gotten to learn about the Pacific Islands region. Before the internship, I had only very limited knowledge about Australia and New Zealand. Now, I’ve learned about the healthcare systems and general cultural norms of different Pacific Islands countries, like Fiji, Vanuatu, or the Northern Mariana Islands, in relation to mental health. It was interesting to see how the different locations were in different steps of the policy development, in relation to the WHO and UN. I also had the chance to virtually attend the Creating Futures conference where I learned about mental health in the different countries, and also how Covid-19 affected them. It was great to learn about each student’s project at the beginning of the internship as well. In addition to the knowledge learnt and the virtual cultural experience, I have gained many skillsets I hope to use in the future. I learned how to use Zotero to contain all of the articles I found in my search. I’ve learned how to navigate databases in search of information specifically about involuntary commitment. I have also made my first annotated bibliography, a lengthy document which consists of most of the work I did over the summer. Even though I focused on the Pacific Islands region, I had the chance to explore and research global mental health earlier in the summer as well. There’s so much I’ve learned from this summer, and I am completely excited for the future opportunities I will gain through research and extracurriculars due to the Penn GRIP internship. I am excited to explore the field of psychiatry and neuroscience in my classes, and further along my career. I know that if I were in-person this past summer, I would’ve had a blast in New Zealand. Even though I didn’t have that chance, I will continue to look out for opportunities to travel to the Pacific Islands region. I thank the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Auckland for making this opportunity possible. In addition, I also want to thank University of Pennsylvania’s Career Services for providing the Career Services Summer Funding award. Without this award, I would not have been able to pursue my internship with Penn GRIP. The award allowed me to dedicate my attention to work on my research work. Thank you for this experience!