Hello CSS Community: My name is Brandon Estime and I graduated from the University of Maryland (Fall 2018) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health. During the Fall 2018 semester, I had the opportunity to intern with the National Cancer Institute. During my internship, I was apart of the Health Behaviors Research Branch under the Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences. The many projects that I was involved with during the semester provided me with a wide variety of knowledge about research and allowed me to apply critical thinking skills in the workplace. I was also able to connect with professionals in the field and attend seminars that discussed the forefront of cancer research.
One project that I had the pleasure of working on, was examining the use of theory in health behavior interventions in funded grant proposals. The objective of the project was to identify how the use of theory impacts the success of a behavioral intervention. I used an abstraction tool to code the prevalence of health behavior theory in grants and publications. Another project that I was involved with focused on interdisciplinary collaboration in research. An existing problem in advancing research is that tenure and promotion guidelines at universities have the potential to create bureaucratic red tape which can consequently discourage collaborative work. I worked to identify language that supports interdisciplinary collaboration and tracked the language on spreadsheets. Prior to my internship, I was not familiar with the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in research so it was interesting to explore the benefits that it can offer.
Overall, my internship taught me how to approach complex problems and gave me insight into ways to strategically utilize resources. I believe these are valuable skills that can be applied in many areas in the field of public health. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity!