Making the Best out of your Research Internship: 3 Tips

By Rafyoga J.P. Irsadanar

Being a research intern could be very thrilling and challenging, since we will not only deal with professional matters but also academic works. To make the best of the opportunity, these are 3 tips you could do!

1. Be available, reliable, and responsible in the office.

It is always exciting to be given opportunities by a reputable research center to experience the real professional and academic environment through an internship. However, we also need to also understand that one of the major reasons we are hired is to assist the researchers in doing their academic projects. By that, the interns will be shared some of the responsibilities in the team.

In doing your part, be a responsible team-player! Meet those deadlines. Show up on-time. Give the best for your works. For better result, also be available and reliable when the others need your help. Such traits are crucial to bond with your officemates and grow your mindset on working professionally.

2. Write as much as possible.

One of the exclusive perks on interning at a research center or a think-tank is you will have the access to their academic and research resources. It is a great investment to spend your time in utilizing the think-tank and research center library resources to write something that you are interested to be an expert in!

Use this opportunity to solidify your academic portfolio by writing as many articles as possible for both the research center platform or other medias. Being surrounded by experienced senior researchers should also be a great opportunity to receive some feedbacks to improve your writing. So, should be good?

3. Expand your professional and academic network.

Well, certainly working in research centers is beyond staying behind the office desk. There will be many collaborative events or conferences with government ministries, private sector stakeholders and other research/academic institutions. Some of the research projects also require us to collect the data through series of fieldworks.

Not only that such activities will allow you to meet a lot of new people, sometimes you are also able to interact with fascinating figures in your field. Get out from your bubbles to interact with such people to get new insight about your research interest and don’t forget to exchange name cards! It is also good to be connected online through professional platforms such as LinkedIn. Not only that your network is growing, it could also lead you to other opportunities in the future.

So, are you ready to gear up your research internship?

Rafyoga is Monbukagakusho Scholar at Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS), Kobe University, Japan. Prior joining GSICS, he was a research intern and research assistant at ASEAN Studies Center, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. He could be reached through LinkedIn or Twitter.

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