It’s already over?!

This week absolutely flew by. I am so impressed by how much our group was able to accomplish in just one week! We recruited 452 students, we entered 75 surveys into SPSS, we completed preliminary analyses of the data, we gave a final presentation on our experience/findings, and we wrote a final report about the experience. So productive!

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Our group with our preceptor, Dr. Ghaddar, at the final presentation

Coming into this trip I was hoping to gain some applied public health experience and that’s exactly what I got. I’ve learned a lot about survey work and some of the challenges associated with it. This will be particularly useful this summer as part of my internship includes creating a survey and recruiting women to complete it. This was a great practice run!

I also saw myself grow in my understanding of participant recruitment. I have experience working with individuals once they are already recruited into a study and I have experience analyzing data that has already been collected but I’ve never worked in study recruitment before. As I mentioned in my last post, going into the day on Tuesday I was very nervous about recruiting students. I would consider myself a pretty shy person so the thought of approaching people and asking them to take 10-20 minutes to complete my survey was a little terrifying! When I began I wouldn’t approach people if they had headphones in, if I couldn’t make eye contact with them first, etc. By the end of the day on Thursday the only people I didn’t approach were those who obviously didn’t want to talk to me (ie they walked off the path and into the grass to avoid walking by me). Learning how to strike that balance between being assertive but also respecting others’ space is definitely something you have to learn by being out in the field.

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The whole group visiting the Progreso International Bridge

Overall, I would say this trip was an incredible experience. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun. Another great break in the books!

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