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When I consider the intellectual experiences that have most affected me, I find most striking those that have taught me something new and helped me develop a greater insight into myself. I have had a few intellectual experiences that have taught me important things but there was one experience that, perhaps more than any other, has allowed me to learn new things and develop an interest in my career goal. My experience at the Science Research Training Program (SRTP), sponsored by New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), during the summer of 2001 holds great meaning for me.
This was an eight-week summer research, internship and academic enrichment program through which I gained real-world science experiences. I was placed as an intern at Queens Wild Life Center to do scientific research based on my interest in biology. I was assigned to a mentor, Dr. Scott Silver, who helped me by sharing his knowledge and expertise in order to carry out my research. The topic of my research was “The effect of environmental complexity on the behavior of California sea lions.
” I observed the patterns of behavior in the sea lions for 20 days and then I introduced enrichment items to the sea lions and observed their behavior again for 20 days. The patterns of behavior during the two phases were compared. The results demonstrated that enrichment items could reduce the amount of time spent swimming and modify other behaviors. This experience prepared me to enter the world of research. It reinforced my interest in science, introduced me to real-world scientific research and developed my technical and critical thinking skills.
I got the opportunity to work under the supervision of science professionals. The weekly activities and workshops that were designed every Friday exposed me to a wide range of scientific perspectives. Through this program I learned research skills and the skills that are needed to organize and write a formal scientific paper. I also learned a variety of topics that were done by other students in the program. I learned public speaking skills by presenting an oral report to an audience of peers, teachers, mentors and parents.
As a result of this program, I was able to develop time management skills, sophistication in dealing with science professionals, science skills, critical thinking skills and the ability to conduct in-depth investigations. This sparked my interest in choosing a career in science and allowed me to improve my own personal relation skills. At Lehigh, I plan to continue the research which has played such a big role in the formation of my traits and career goals.
In addition, this was the first such experience that allowed me to attain a background in the field of science. It enabled me to explore my intellectual capabilities, heighten my perception of knowledge and gain a greater insight into myself. This overall knowledge has helped me to serve as a wonderful segway for bettering myself as a person and for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to your learning institution. Should I be allowed the privilege and opportunity to study at your university?