Summer Internships: Roma Sarathi '25
Name: Roma Sarathi
Class Year: 2025
Hometown: Newark, DE
Internship Organization: University of Michigan
Job Title: Study on Equity in Faculty Hiring Practices in Linguistics
What's happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
I am a research assistant for, primarily, a linguistics professor at Swarthmore College who is doing a research study about the equity of hiring practices for professors of linguistics across the country and Canada. I look at spreadsheets and fill in information about professors' Ph.D.s and current and past jobs in academia based on their CVs I find online as well as demographic data of each professor. Some of us are analyzing data using R to see if there are any trends or patterns that are emerging from the datasets.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied because I was curious to see how the hiring practices have changed over time, especially as someone who is interested in going into academic research and maybe even becoming a professor sometime during my career. It would be really interesting to see if there were any connections in how a professor was hired or promoted based on something like their gender or what school they received their Ph.D. from!
What has been your favorite part of this internship?
My advisors and coworkers are so thoughtful and intelligent. They have a lot of ideas on how things should get done, but are at the same time, really willing to hear our observations and any suggestions we might have about the process. I feel like I'm genuinely heard during our Zoom meetings and feel confident to bring any problem or question up to them at any point. They are also really forgiving of our busy summer schedules and very excited to share what they've been doing outside of this job! I've been learning a lot about their lives outside of work and school, and it's been nice to feel like I truly have coworkers and advisors who enjoy working with me, even if we work from a distance.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
Working remotely has been kind of nice so far. I've been enjoying the flexibility offered to me by my advisors and coworkers in regards to when I need to get things done by and what they're expecting of me. Though sometimes I do tend to push things off to the end of the week, working remotely has allowed me to be able to spend time with friends and family while also have time to dedicate to the job. It definitely has been difficult keeping my work space separated from my relaxation space, though, and sometimes I tend to want to lie in bed rather than open my laptop at my desk and get some tasks done.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.