Social Impact Internships: Zach Marinov (’26)

I’m Zach Marinov, a rising sophomore majoring in Computer Science. I did a Social Impact Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital this summer, in particular doing data analysis in the psychiatry department. I worked on five main projects – two systematic reviews, and three statistical analyses, done in IBM SPSS.

Internship position: Mental Health Equity Research Intern

Amidst the summer’s blaze, change was my prize;
Psychosis, SPSS, and coding’s endless maze,
I learned the medical research ropes, wore different project ties,
Data analysis, systematic reviews – time in a wild chase.
Mental health treatment, a puzzle deep and vast,
Disengagement predictors, psychiatric insights I amassed,
How delays in treatment outcomes malign;
Community care, Navigate – holistic is magical, divine.
Now armed with data’s sword, I’ll forge my way,
Interrogating, recoding, restructuring away,
With colleagues turned friends, come what may,
A summer well spent, in every single way.

As a fan of poetry, I wanted to write a poem to both exercise my poetic skills and because I find that the concision necessary in poetry forces a deeper self-reflection, as you have to think carefully not just about your experience, but about the words and structure you use to describe that experience. The goal of the poem was to express gratitude for the opportunity I had this summer to work with and learn from my supervisor Dr. Cheryl Foo, my fellow MIT intern Jeffrey Kwon, and many other researchers at MGH, through summarizing and praising my experience. As the first line indicates, change was a big part of the internship, from the new medical research environment, to the new tools I was learning to use, namely IBM SPSS, to the constantly updating priorities and projects. One of the goals on my objectives chart written at the start of my internship was to learn more about the medical research environment, and I feel that I absolutely did through the hands-on exposure I got to a range of research projects covering data analyses (focusing on the difference between the Navigate and Community Care methods of treatment) and systematic reviews alike. I also learned lots about mental health illnesses and treatments through the many supplementary psychiatry grand rounds and talks, and honed my coding skills by working with Syntax on a large real-world dataset in SPSS. Overall, I found my experience very rewarding, and could not bring myself to remove the last cheesy yet truthful line.

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