Going on the hunt to find an internship, I knew I wanted one that involved research. I never experienced research before so I wanted to experience it to determine if it was a career path I would be interested in pursuing. I tried many strategies when trying to find this internship such as contacting family friends in the field to exploring different professor’s websites to see if they have any research intern positions open.
How I ultimately found ArticuLab was unexpected. Since I have an interest in technology and human computer interactions I follow a handful of different blogs that report about advances in the field. One of the posts was a TedxPittsburgh video of a professor named Justine Cassell talking about integrating robots and virtual peers into society. I decided to go to her website to read about her research. This led me to her lab at Carnegie Mellon: ArticuLab.
Being a native of Pittsburgh, I realized this lab was not far from my house. Getting a research position there would be perfect. However, no positions were being advertised currently on the lab’s website. I decided to take a chance and forward a cover letter and resume to the lab manager detailing my interests in the lab’s work and what I could contribute if I had an opportunity to work in the lab over the summer. Within a week I was Skyped interviewed and offered a summer intern position.
Through this internship hunt, I learned that if you find a company or lab that you feel a connection to but no positions are advertise, still initiate the conversation. The worst that can come from it is a response saying no positions are available.