When reflecting on my experience with the Brackenridge Fellowship this summer, I am truly grateful that I had this opportunity to conduct independent research. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it furthered my passion and interest in developmental psychology and pediatrics. While I was able to make excellent progress in my project, I did learn that in research, hurdles and roadblocks are to be expected. There will be times that you need to learn new skills and overcome challenges, so your research might take longer than you expect. However, these are all great learning opportunities. Patience is key in research, but in the end, it is worth it.
With my project, the development of an actual coding scheme took longer than I anticipated. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to code for, but I needed to solidify those ideas by analyzing existing literature that utilized coding schemes for mother-infant interactions and maternal responsivity. Though I did have to read a lot of literature before I was able to solidify my own coding scheme, I do believe that it was worth the time I spent, because I was very comfortable and confident in the coding scheme I developed. Additionally, the actual coding of the videos took longer than I expected, as I was consistently taking notes, discussing with my project mentor, and updating my coding manual. Even if it takes more time, thoroughly and intricately coding these videos is important. It encourages me to think more about what I am coding for, and enriches my coding manual.
The Brackenridge Fellowship was a valuable experience to me for a multitude of reasons. For one, it allowed me to become more confident in myself and my skills. I am very proud of my project, and it makes me happy knowing that it was an idea that I thought of and executed on my own. I was also happy to have so much valuable guidance from my project mentor. I met with her at least once a week, and her support and knowledge helped me learn and grow throughout this project. I also became more comfortable speaking about my project, and the interdisciplinary fashion of the fellowship encouraged me to be more conscious and intentional with my words. Not everyone in this fellowship is familiar with concepts in psychology, so I had to thoroughly understand my project in order to confidently talk about it. As the fellowship comes to an end, I plan to continue working on my project during the school year. I truly enjoyed the subject matter of my project, so I am very excitedly looking forward to my future in pediatric medicine.