Name: Jacqueline Agustin
Concentration: Health and Human Biology/ Pre-med
Jacqueline has been a research assistant for a project through the Education department, done an independent study, been a research associate through the Green and Healthy Homes Institute, and participated in the Summer Health Professions Education Program. Read on to hear about Jacqueline’s experiences as a researcher and pre-med student.
What kind of research experiences, internships, or fellowships have you been involved with during college?
I’ve had a few experiences both at Brown and outside of Brown. During my first semester at Brown, I became a Research Assistant for a project in the Education Department that focuses on education beliefs. At the time, it seemed like a far cry from my interests but I decided to contact the PI (Principal Investigator) because of how strongly I felt the project resonate with my life as a child of immigrant parents. I remained an RA for three semesters, culminating in an Independent Study, where I integrated my work and my life experiences into a paper.
The summer after my freshman year, I spent my time as a part-time Research Associate for the Green and Healthy Homes Institute, researching and editing data for a website focused on compiling Rhode Island- specific information on things such as housing policies and general health concerns to help address health hazards. The summer after that I attended the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at the University of Washington (now Summer Health Professions Education Program). For anyone who is pre-med and is freshman or sophomore, I highly recommend SHPEP.
How have these experiences shaped your goals and plans for the future?
These experiences have helped me explore fields I had not been able to experience before and to integrate them into my experience at Brown and into my growing perspective as a pre-med student. It has also encouraged me to keep exploring fields, because I feel that this has helped me become more well-rounded and able to solve problems using multiple perspectives.
What was your favorite part of or an interesting story about a research experience, internship, or fellowship you participated in?
One of my favorite experiences in the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program was shadowing and being able to work with my peers to evaluate resources within a specific community. We discussed the connection of having a variety of resources in a community with quality of health. Shadowing really opened my eyes to certain aspects of healthcare I didn’t think about before and to the need of healthcare professionals who are aware of potential barriers, big and small, to maintaining good health.
Do you have any advice for students looking to potentially pursue opportunities similar to what you’ve pursued?
Don’t be dissuaded by how selective or challenging an opportunity may seem to be, definitely apply if you’re very passionate about gaining that experience. Also, don’t be afraid to contact professors if you’re interested in what they’re doing and want to get involved, that’s how I got my first position as an RA. Subscribe to mailing lists that post opportunities, such as the Health Careers listserv, concentration listservs, CareerLab, etc.