Profile of a Wasserman Center Internship Grant Recipient

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Hajratalli, Narissa

Narissa Hajratalli is a sophomore at CAS studying Neural Science on the Pre-Health track. She is currently volunteering at NYU Langone Medical Center as a Research Intern at the Neuroscience Institute. She works under Dr. Jayeeta Basu’s lab where they study the brain circuitry that underlies learning and memory in brain. Narissa is also involved in Lafayette Residence Hall Council as Director of Events.

What is the best part of winning the Internship Grant?
The best part about winning the grant is being able to pursue my passion for research without dividing my attention by juggling a job on top of my school work.

What are the challenges and rewards of doing an unpaid internship?
My biggest challenges I found during my internship were that I sometimes took longer than usual to get tasks done or I would have problems troubleshooting if things didn’t go exactly as planned. For example, I deal with fixed tissue of transgenic mice brains and my job is to slice the brains and mount slides of these. You have to be extremely careful with the delicate tissue and I would take my time to ensure I didn’t make any mistakes or ruined the data. However, this internship is extremely rewarding because I am learning so much about the field I am truly interested in!

What advice do you have for students who are applying to the Internship Grant?
I say that you should apply even if you are on the fence about it. Don’t be afraid to pursue an internship just because it’s not paid. There are other ways of obtaining funds!

What tips do you have for surviving an unpaid internship?
Be conscious about your money! It’s very easy to blow all that you have on Chipotle but it’s important to have money for the essentials first. I always pack my lunch so I can cut out the cost entirely!

The Wasserman Center Internship Grant was established to provide financial assistance ($1000) to students pursuing non-paying internships within not-for-profits, the arts, education, public service and other industries that do not traditionally pay their interns. For more information, the application and eligibility criteria can be found on NYU CareerNet under Job ID #1053216. The application deadline is February 23rd, 2017 at 11:59pm EST. Please keep in mind this is a competitive process.