Whether you’re considering graduate school, any sort of pre-professional program, or even a totally different line of work, spending a summer as a research assistant can be extremely valuable. Here are a few reasons why:
- Learn About Your Interests: spending 8-12 weeks as a research assistant will help clarify your research interests. If you found your dream field, you will know right away. If it’s not for you, you’ve learned something almost as valuable.
- Work on a Team: Working with a research group involves a whole lot of teamwork and collaboration. Together with your Principal Investigator and the other members of the research team (other RAs, graduate students, post-docs), you will work to solve tough problems. This sort of team environment exists in all fields and professions. You will learn how to find your role in a team setting and better understand your unique skills.
- Work Independently: At the same time, the research environment oftens plenty of opportunity to work on your own and grow as an individual thinker. Depending on your time commitment and the resources available, you may be able to choose your own project or direction.
- Build Your CV / Resumé: As you seek future positions, you will always need to speak to your past experiences. A summer of hard work can round out your resumé, help you succeed in an interview, and prove that you are a worthy candidate. If the summer work ends in a publication or presentation, then you can showcase these feats as well.
- Build Your Mentor Network: To succeed in any field, you need strong mentors that will support you. A successful summer under a professor could help solidify a letter-writer when it comes time to submit recommendations. Perhaps more importantly, you will form a relationship with an individual that can advise you for years to come.
On ScholarBridge, professors can specify their interest in bringing on summer research assistants. Check back periodically for opportunities that fit your interests!