Hello Everyone!! It’s the last week of senior projects which means that this will be my last blog post. Instead of simply discussing my research, which will be in my final paper, I thought I would reflect upon my experience these past 12 weeks.
My biggest takeaway is that reseach, especially when self-guided is extremely difficult. Before I started my reseach I wrote a 12 week plan of what I hoped to accomplish and looking back I only followed the schedule for the first few weeks.
I started off with a broad research question and did not comprehend how difficult it would be to study everything I wanted in such a short time. One of the hardest parts of my research comprised of me having to exclude certain subsets of human trafficking for time’s sake. Everytime I delved deeper into the topic, a different angle of human trafficking stood out to me but I had to force myself to stay on track. Having no set steps or path to follow, the other hardest part of my project was defining my research question throughout these past 12 weeks. Every time I hit a road bump I had to adjust my whole project and take it in a new direction. Although it wasn’t ideal, it grew my appreciation for original reseach and helped me understand how complicated the issue of human trafficking is.
Another issue I took for granted during my research was the availability of data for me to run the tests I wanted to. I knew there would be some difficulty due to the illicit nature of the industry but certainly overestimated how much data there would be. I spent over two weeks just trying to find enough data to assess the relationship between trafficking and globalization. I went from thinking of data as a means to achieve an end but didn’t realize that effective data collection is something that has yet to be achieved in the field of human trafficking
I’m super grateful for the opportunity to have been able to conduct this research. I learned so much more about a topic that is important to me and I hope to continue my research not only in the summer but to also throughout my academic and professional career. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who’s helped me through the process inducing Ms. Belcher, Mr. Lizardo, Mr. Bhutoria, and Mr. Nooruddin. Each of these mentors took time out of their to help me with the many issues I dealt with while doing my research.
To everyone who plans to do a senior project or start their own independent research, the biggest thing I learned was that its ok if everything doesn’t go to plan. The most important thing is to be able to ask for help when needed and to overcome and adapt. Make sure you think about what you want your project/reseach to be about ahead of time so you can find mentors who are willing to help you along the way. Most importantly make sure it’s something you’re really passionate about because when things don’t go according to plan you won’t give up 🙂
I’ll also be presenting my research and sharing my final product on May 23 at the Hilton Doubletree in San Jose from 6:30-6:45 and you all are welcome to join.