Anna Landi ’20: UCSF Emotion, Health and Psychophysiology Lab

Name: AnnaMaria Landi (Anna Landi)
Class Year: 2020
Major: Psychology (Major) and Neuroscience (Minor)
Hometown: Charlottesville, Va.

Internship Organization: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Emotion, Health and Psychophysiology (EHP) Lab
Job Title: Summer Research Assistant Intern
Location: San Francisco

What’s happening at your internship?

I am one of 14 interns working at UCSF’s EHP Lab under the direction of Dr. Wendy Berry Mendes this summer. Currently, there are various studies being run and I have been assigned to three in particular — one study explores the effects of perceived racial discrimination on sleep quality, another study examines the influence of parent-child relationships on stress, and the final study tests the efficacy of several stress resilience interventions. I perform numerous roles in my day-to-day work life, including being an experimenter, a technician/operator, and a confederate. I really enjoyed applying the knowledge from the classroom to a laboratory setting and seeing psychological theories come to life.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I wanted to gain research experience at a large institution such as UCSF. I am at the crossroads of deciding if I want to commit to a career in academia and pursue a doctorate degree or if I want to apply my psychology training and education to a profession in industry.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Overall, the highlight of this internship is the weekly tutorials and workshops led by a member of the research staff — they talk about their professional and personal life trajectories as well as their current research interests and projects. Personally, it has been extremely helpful to hear about each individual’s unique experience and to hear them talk candidly about the choices they have made to get to this point. I have realized that there is truly no “right” or “wrong” path to take in order to pursue research. Also, it is OK to take time off after undergrad before applying to grad school.

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

I have framed this experience as a domestic study abroad. I was equal parts excited and nervous before coming to San Francisco as this is the first time that I am living away from my family and friends (besides being at Bryn Mawr). I was really lucky to find a wonderful roommate who is also an intern at the lab. Honestly, it was a steep learning curve trying to balance my work and personal life — it is an interesting feeling to be both working here but also a tourist. Furthermore, navigating a new place can be scary, but embracing being uncomfortable with the unknown and learning to ask for help has been a huge growth experience for me. I am definitely not a local, but I am becoming more and more familiar with the city.