Alexia is a rising senior at Rutgers University, where she majors in psychology and is a James Dickson Carr Scholar. Alexia was interested in participating in Project L/EARN for several reasons. She desired to acquire research experience in the field of psychology and to become a competitive graduate school candidate. Alexia also viewed the program as an opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from professionals. She wanted to challenge her academic and personal growth in an academic atmosphere that allowed her to become cognizant of her strengths and weaknesses. Project L/EARN was the means for which Alexia could experience all of these things alongside other ambitious individuals.
Alexia valued the opportunity to perform her own research with a distinguished professional in her field of interest, Dr. Danielle McCarthy. Her mentor provided her with support and encouragement, which allowed her to explore her research interests further. Alexia’s project focuses on the influence of personality and dependence dimensions on attentional bias to smoking-related cues. She appreciates receiving feedback and advice from her mentor, as well as the Project L/EARN instructors on how to improve her research. She also appreciated the opportunity to attend a research conference where she was exposed to how researchers present their work and see the benefits of networking firsthand. This experience further solidified Alexia’s career goals.
Alexia’s future career goals include attending graduate school for a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, with the ultimate goal of becoming a licensed therapist, researcher, and professor. Alexia appreciates the graduate level training the program has provided her, as well as an environment in which she could grow as a student. Looking back on the admissions process of Project L/EARN, Alexia wants future interns to know that this research experience was challenging, but it was overcoming these challenges that enabled her to grow intellectually.