Please tell us what position you hold in the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program!
I first starting working with the Prechter team in September 2016 as a work-study student. Once I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2018, I started working full-time as a Research Technician Associate (RA). I am currently working on the Longitudinal Study of Bipolar Disorder, the At-Risk Study for offspring who have a parent with bipolar disorder, and the Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Study. For all of these studies, I am responsible for scheduling appointments, administering various mood questionnaires and neuropsychological tests, and making sure data is collected and entered as fully and accurately as possible.
Please walk us through a typical Monday in your position!
First thing Monday morning, I settle into my desk and check any emails or voicemails the team may have received over the weekend. From there, all of the RAs work together to distribute tasks for the day. At any point in the day, I could be processing blood and saliva samples, calling participants to schedule appointments, scoring neuropsychological tests, supervising participants who are receiving brain stimulation, or catching up on data entry. No day is the same because we complete such a variety of tasks. At the end of the day, I make sure we’ve paid everyone who completed an appointment and make reminder calls to all of the participants scheduled for the next day.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I spend most of my time traveling for and playing ultimate frisbee. For practices, we travel all across the Midwest and for tournaments, we travel as far as California. When I’m not playing ultimate, I like to watch a variety of TV shows, go to different pizza places with my friends and play games.
What’s the best thing about working at the Prechter Program?
The best thing about working for the Prechter Program is the people, both our participants and our clinicians. Our participants are so willing to share their stories and help out in whatever way they can, always asking for other research opportunities. Our clinicians are simply amazing to work with and have some much knowledge to share. They are some of the most caring people I have ever met.
Where do you hope to go next in your education and your career?I am not someone who has had my future all planned out, so working for this team has given me the chance to really explore some of my options and figure out what my next step is. I am now starting to explore my career options in the field of data. Next, I hope to transition into a new job related to data that will expand on the knowledge and skills I already have. I will likely attend graduate school in the coming years to expand that knowledge even further.
And finally: what are three things you’d take with you on a deserted island?If I were on a deserted island, I would take a pizza, a knife and a good book.