My Summer at GSE

Chloe Yang, GSE Masters in Education, 2024

I got this research opportunity from the professor of our department after I recommended myself to them by expressing my research interest and past work experience. Luckily, there is one ongoing project in GSE that fits my educational and working background. The project on which I assisted involves analysis of existing surveys that try to get at the jobs and advanced studies that grads will undertake following graduations. This project aimed to analyze existing surveys that track the job placements and advanced studies undertaken by graduates, to determine if the knowledge rate from the previous report was representative of the GSE population graduating within the same timeframe. Moreover, this opportunity enabled me to develop ideas on achieving better response rates of surveys on a large group of population.  

During my summer internship, I had the unique opportunity to dive deep into the world of educational statistics, working on a research project investigating the Graduate School of Education (GSE) destination surveys and reports. This internship allowed me to apply the statistical knowledge I had accumulated during my graduate studies in a practical, real-world setting. I was primarily involved in data cleaning, statistical modeling, and interpretation of results. I was required to meticulously organize and analyze data from various surveys, aligning the information to ensure compatibility and integrity.  

One of the significant challenges I faced was dealing with inconsistencies in survey data. Since the data came from various sources, standardizing them required a deep understanding of both the subject matter and the statistical techniques to employ. The collaboration with seasoned researchers and academics helped me overcome this hurdle and imparted a sense of teamwork and professional growth.  

Analyzing the knowledge rate and its representation within the GSE population was a complex task. The knowledge rate is a crucial parameter that indicates how well-informed the respondents are about a particular subject. In the context of our research, it measured how well the survey results reflected the actual job placements and further studies pursued by the graduates. Ensuring this rate was representative required the application of statistical principles like sampling, hypothesis testing, and confidence intervals. It was enlightening to see how these principles could directly impact policy decisions and recommendations within the education sector.  

Moreover, this internship exposed me to the broader scope of educational research and the implications it has on shaping the educational policies and strategies. It provided a perspective that goes beyond numbers and statistics, emphasizing the importance of accurate data in driving informed decisions. The communication skills I honed during the project were equally significant. Explaining complex statistical findings to non-technical stakeholders required a clear and concise presentation of results. This practice enhanced my ability to translate technical information into accessible insights, a skill that will undoubtedly benefit my future career.  

In conclusion, my summer internship experience was incredibly enriching and multifaceted. It not only enhanced my technical skills in statistics but also broadened my understanding of the intersection between education and data analysis. The real-world application of statistical methodologies, collaboration with experienced professionals, and the chance to contribute to a project with genuine societal impact have left me inspired and eager to further pursue my career in this field. 

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2023 GAPSA Summer Internship Funding Program that is coordinated by Penn Career Services. 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.

By Career Services
Career Services