Mitacs Globalink Research Intern 2016

August 19, 2016

Helixandre Segundo is the Mitacs Globalink intern with MODAL Research group for summer 2016. Ever since high school, Helixandre had dreamed about doing an internship abroad, but admitted that he never thought it was a possibility. That's why when his philosophy professor, and previous MODAL visiting professor, Dr. Rita Gomez spoke about the possibility of coming to work at SFU over the summer, he jumped at the opportunity.

Helixandre is a fourth year music student at the Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) in Brazil. He is a saxophonist, interested in all forms of music, with a passion for philosophy. Because of these interests, coming to work at MODAL seemed to be an ideal fit.

Through his time at MODAL, Helixandre says he has gained a deep interest in the research process. “What I really like about MODAL, is how they try to make research accessible and relevant to the real world, and not just trapped in the academy. This is not always the attitude I’ve seen in Brazilian universities.”

At MODAL, Helixandre has assisted with tech support; working with research data from a variety of mediums; surveys, interview transcripts and videos. “Through this work it was fascinating to see what happens with large research projects. How to construct a template, how to apply this template to schools. How to enter this data into a system. How to construct this data into meaningful research. It's basically how to work effectively in research.”

Helixandre says that the most surprising aspect of his trip has been the cultural differences between Brazil and Canada, particularly in terms of University life:

“One little thing that seemed significant to me was how here in Canada universities have public spaces for studying and socializing with other students. In Brazil, this is not really the case. You go to university to study, but the University doesn't make it easy for you to study.”

Helixandre is thinking about coming back to SFU to do a graduate degree after he finishes up with his Bachelors. He wishes to pursue something that can harness his love for music and philosophy. We wish him luck, wherever the future takes him.

The Mitacs Globalink Research Internship is a competitive initiative for international undergraduates from Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia. From May to September of each year, top-ranked applicants participate in a 12-week research internship under the supervision of Canadian university faculty members in a variety of academic disciplines, from science, engineering and mathematics to the humanities and social sciences.