Kate Salembier ’16

College: Wellesley College

Where did you work?
Uppsala University Child and Babylab    

What was your primary responsibility or significant project you worked on?
I was a Research Assistant working on an experiment that investigated the relationship between various factors like gender, siblings, media exposure, and personality, and altruistic behaviors in real life and digital environments. My partner and I devised the procedure, recruited participants, tested subjects, and performed analysis on the results. In other words, we designed and administered an experiment to 50+ 8-year-olds and collected data about their sharing behaviors in a real life scenario and in a video game. We then evaluated their sharing behaviors against individual factors like gender, siblings, media exposure, and personality and analyzed the results. 

Did your summer job/internship align with your college major? Did it change your thoughts on your future career path?
Yes! I am a Media Arts & Sciences major with a concentration in Computer Science. In the Spring 2023 semester, I studied video game development while studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. After gaining that experience I applied to the lab in Uppsala whose research was at the intersection of video games and child psychology. It definitely expanded my perspective on my major and the real world applications of what I study. Additionally, it inspired me to consider graduate study in a variety of fields.    
What did you find the most enjoyable or most interesting part of your job?    
One of the best parts of this position was getting to experience Swedish culture and learn about Swedish society both inside and outside of the lab. It was fascinating to observe how Swedish society impacts the data we were collecting, but I also learned so much just living in Stockholm. I was glad to experience Swedish culture in both an academic and recreational capacity.     

Was there a skill you learned at Mayfield that helped you do your job better?
A large part of my job was communication; with my lab partner, my mentor, family members and participants. Confidence in my ability to communicate effectively with others definitely began during my time at Mayfield. 
What new skills did you acquire during your summer internship?
A little bit of Swedish! Most adults in Sweden speak English fluently, but 8-year-olds are not as proficient. I really enjoyed learning enough Swedish to communicate with participants and guide them through the experiment in their native language. I also gained more familiarity with research processes and really value the experience I had executing a project from start to finish.  
How did your summer job/internship contribute to your personal growth or self-confidence?
Before working in Sweden, research was new to me and I was nervous about my lack of experience. This opportunity helped me realize that I have the skills necessary and that I can have confidence in my abilities going forward. 

Mayfield Junior School

Located in Pasadena, California, Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child Jesus is a K-8 Catholic coeducational private school. Our kindergarten, elementary school, and middle school experience best prepares students for high school education and beyond.