Sophie Duchesne

Sophie Duchesne

The B.E.S.T. Strategy

Sophie Duchesne

Sophie Duchesne applied to the B.E.S.T. Projects Fund knowing exactly what she wanted to achieve.

The Psychology student from Montreal will be gaining the skills necessary to complete her honours thesis thanks to an internship at Ryerson University in Toronto.

“I’ll be working as a research assistant at the Early Childhood Cognition Lab, which works with very young children,” explains Sophie. “I’ll be studying the role of ethnic identity in trans-racially adopted children and the effect of that ethnical identity in their trust in others. I will be comparing adoptees and non-adoptees to look at their patterns of trust and who they trust.”

“The results will give us an insight into how both groups of children learn about the world around them. Children learn so much from adults and it’s important to understand what kind of people children trust when acquiring new knowledge of the world. It’s also important to find out who children trust as it helps us learn how they build their interpersonal relationships, how they make friends and who they pick as their friends, among other things,” Sophie says.

Sophie won over the B.E.S.T. selection committee with her focus, determination and sheer enthusiasm for her project. “I was looking to have an advantage for my honours thesis,” she says. “I think this internship will give me a head start because I will know what to expect.”

“Experiential learning opportunities like B.E.S.T. fuel the spark that you have,” continues Sophie. “The more advanced you are in your studies, the more involved you need to be.”

“I also think it helps you figure out whether or not you want to pursue the path you’re on at the moment. You can sit in class and learn theory, but if your future career is emotionally draining, how can you know without a practical experience outside of the classroom? I believe it’s better to figure these things out sooner than later so you can adjust your career path,” she says.

Sophie feels her B.E.S.T. experience will benefit those around her as well. “One of the requirements of B.E.S.T. is to share your story with the Bishop’s community. It allows you to do something and then talk about it. It supports you in what you want to do, but it allows you to share that spark and passion.”

Sophie encourages every Bishop’s student to try B.E.S.T. “It’s unique because it’s all about what you want to do. There are no guidelines. Where else can you do that and be given money for it?”

“It makes you feel good about yourself. People believe in you. That’s why Bishop’s is so great!”