By: Sophia Krystek, BCom/19, MSc in Management candidate

As a recent graduate from the Bachelor of Commerce program that is heading into the Master of Science (MSc) program in the fall here at Sprott, the Summer Undergraduate Research Program provided me with the opportunity to experience the world of research firsthand under the guidance of both Dr. Leighann Neilson and Ph.D. Candidate Nada Elnahla. This program is a non-traditional summer job that allows students to learn firsthand how academic research works, without the constraint of working 9 to 5.

Sophia Krystek, Sprott School of Business

The project I worked on over the summer was entitled, “Immigrants’ Non-voluntary Disposal Regret” (Research Project Ethics Approval #109174), which was initiated during Nada’s Consumer Culture Theory Course. The research project proposes to answer two main research questions: (1) Does immigrants’ non-voluntary disposal of objects lead to regret? And (2) when there is a feeling of regret, does it increase or decrease with the passage of time? The focus of this research, therefore, is on consumers discarding a desirable past self, a self that is “reflected in the meaningful possessions that consumers intentionally dispose” (Lastovicka & Fernandez, 2005, p. 821).

Throughout the summer, I had the opportunity to gain a variety of skills while conducting research. I was able to gain experience conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews, listening to the unique individual stories from eight immigrants. Through the interviewing process, the team was able to identify new themes to add to the original disposal regret model including: “burn the ships”, the transformation of ownership to parents (sentimental or hoarding), and the attachments to ‘little’ things. Such discoveries allow for models to development and more accurately reflect the realities faced by many immigrants around the world.

Working with Sprott researchers has given me the opportunity to gain new analytical skills through the introduction to both the Qualtrics Survey and Nvivo software, resources I was unaware of previously. I was also able to successfully complete the TCPS-2 Core Certificate (Ethics Clearance) issued by the Canadian government’s Panel on Research Ethics which consists of eight modules focusing on the guidance in TCPS 2 that is applicable to all research regardless of discipline or methodology, as well as the opportunity to attend the Conference of Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing (CHARM) hosted by the Sprott School of Business. These experiences allowed me to gain further insight into how to conduct research, how long it takes to conduct research, and where such research is submitted or presented. Thus, I can say that this summer program has provided me with a full circle view of the research process, and a brief glimpse into the challenges faced by researchers during their work.

As the summer comes to an end, I will continue to be working on this project into the fall term. I strongly believe that the skills and experiences gained throughout the Sprott Undergraduate Research Internship Program has allowed me to further strengthen my analytical abilities and set me up for success as I start the Master of Science in Management program this fall.

Lastovicka, John L. and Karen V. Fernandez (2005), “Three Paths to Disposition: The Movement of Meaningful Possessions to Strangers,” Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4), 813-823.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019 in , ,
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