Career Connections


Sara Hanson

Major: Dietetics/Nutritional Science



Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Jewell/Iowa

Company/Organization: Iowa State University
Company/Organization website: http://www.hs.iastate.edu/research/undergraduate-research/
Title: Research Assistant
Destination: Ames
Timeframe: January 12, 2015-May 8, 2015

Advisor/Coordinator Email: ebeirman@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
Some of my main responsibilities during this experience have been: assisting professors with focus groups by setting up recorders and making notes, comments, observations, meeting weekly with professors to determine goals and objectives to make sure they are being completed, collecting milk cartons from certain grades and measure how much milk is being drank vs. being wasted, creating outlines for key findings, observations, school description, and foodservice key indicators, doing data analysis and compiling those data analyses.

I will never forget...
The most memorable experience from this internship would probably be doing transcript analysis. I have never heard about it before and now that I have done it I realize that researchers have many tedious things to accomplish to get research submitted and published, data analysis being one of those elements. Data analysis is tedious like I mentioned above and takes quite awhile to complete, but once everything is finished it's completely worth it because you have reliable research.

A surprising discovery...
In almost every class we talk about evidence based research. It wasn't until this experience that I realized research is the foundation behind dietetics. I want to continue having research experiences beyond this one.

Advice for others...
Some advice I would give to students is that research is something that can take you anywhere. No matter what field you go into, research is needed. The Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship helps you jumpstart into a research career by giving you the backbone you need to understand the foundation of the research process.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
After I started working on the research team, Dr. Arendt mentioned the Louise Rosenfeld Undergraduate Research Internship and suggested I applied. I'm very glad she told me about this opportunity.

I landed this assignment by...
Dr. Arendt mentioned something about doing an independent project with her to gain foodservice experience and I emailed her about that. She then mentioned this national milk study and I was more than excited to help with it. It has been such an amazing experience to work with two professors who know what they are doing so it's easy for me to learn the proper way research is conducted.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted to gain experience working in foodservice and in research so when I thought this opportunity was possible, I contacted Dr. Arendt and we have been at it ever since.

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