Post #2: Problem Solving with Incomplete Information


Since my last blog post, I’ve been working on my first project while interning in the Anti-Corruption Unit at DCU Business School. My first project includes doing research on the relationship between corruption in governance and food insecurities in developing countries. I’m conducting this research by accessing academic journals through Google Scholar, identifying worthwhile articles pertaining to the topic, and making imperative notes on them in a collective document. Eventually, this document will be utilized by my supervisor and his colleagues to compose an academic paper regarding corruption and food insecurity. 

             During the meeting where my supervisor first introduced this project to me, he gave me a run down on how to use Google Scholar properly, which was very useful considering I’ve never used the platform before. After he thoroughly explained the project to me and answered any arising questions of mine, I actually felt excited to do the work. I thought this project was a great step in introducing me to the internship and what matters of work I’d be dealing with. In addition, this project relates to a serious issue in the world, one in need of immediate change. At first glance, I may just be making notes from papers; however, the research I’m executing will ultimately contribute to a bigger picture. This sentiment makes me feel fulfilled after finishing my work every day because of its relation to social justice and humanitarian values.

            After this initial meeting with my supervisor, I felt a pretty clear direction on my work in the internship. As I was working on the project, I questioned the direction of my notes and if they included the information my supervisor was looking for. Since corruption and food insecurity can exist on small scales, such as school cafeterias, I wanted to get clarity on what degree of corruption and food insecurity I should be homing in on. In the following meeting with my supervisor, I updated him on my work with the project and asked my question regarding what scale of food insecurity I should be focusing on. He explained my focus should be on the bigger scales, specifically developing countries. Next in our conversation, he discussed how I should send him my notes by Friday, and we’ll go over what I have on Monday. Additionally, we’ll discuss my next tasks in the internship on Monday.

            In regard to any ambiguity in my internship, I’m curious to see what work I’ll be executing beyond this first project. Though, I’m not sure if you’d classify this curiosity as ambiguity. I’m confident my supervisor will give me more interesting work and projects. Also, I’m very appreciative of how attentive he’s been thus far. Especially, he’s made it clear that he’s available to answer any questions or concerns I may have. 

            On a side note, working asynchronously during this internship has been thought-provoking. My supervisor and I agreed on me working 25 hours a week. Therefore, that’s five hours a day, if split evenly throughout the weekday. So far, the most interesting aspect of this internship is creating a certain schedule most suitable for me while at home. Personally, I think people’s routines and everyday rituals are very fascinating because everyone’s self-specific to them and consequently, tells a lot about a person. So, since we’re dancing around the topic, it may be befitting to share the highlight of my daily schedule—breakfast. 

            I try my best to wake up early, hopefully between 7:30am and 8:00am. Right when I get up, I open my blinds to let sunlight in and make my bed. Then, I bounce downstairs to my kitchen and make breakfast. Some people intermittent fast, which I’ve tried before; however, I prefer to eat first thing in the morning because I think eating a small and nutritious breakfast boosts my metabolism. Right when I get to my kitchen, I drink a big glass of water at room temperature. This hydrates me, flushes out my stomach, and balances the lymphatic system. With this glass of water, I also take my everyday supplements. 

Recently for the past few weeks, I’ve been making the same thing—oatmeal. But this isn’t any ordinary oatmeal—it’s my special oatmeal. I’ve made it special. First, I cook the oats in a pot with boiling water. Then, I mix in half of a crushed banana to act as a natural sweetener. As a source of good fatty acids and antioxidants, I add a tablespoon of hemp seeds. Lastly, I add half a scoop of vanilla protein powder which has a faintly green color because it’s also mixed with powdered greens. Jokingly, my older brother noted how my oatmeal looked like “it could move” because of its odd color and texture. After I’m done cooking the oatmeal itself, I add blueberries, cinnamon, and a scoop of sunflower butter spread on top. I eat this while drinking coffee and either reading a book or watching an enticing YouTube video. As I’m waking up in the morning, the thought of making my breakfast prompts me to get up—something to look forward to as a moment for myself. Clearly, practicing everyday rituals you enjoy ultimately gives humans comfort. Even simple rituals, such as breakfast, can be extremely effective in reducing anxiety and increasing people’s confidence.