undergrad in the lab

16
Apr

If Only Choosing a Career Path Was This Easy

a tape roll in different colors with different suggestions industry, teacher, grad/med school, sci-comm, editor, analyst

—from the PI's desk

Not knowing exactly what you want to do with your life doesn't mean that you're doomed to fail in your career path.

If you're struggling to answer questions such as, "Should I choose medical school? Graduate School? Pursue an MD-PhD?" or "What I can use my undergrad degree to do if I don't want pursue another degree?" or "What if I'm already set on a path is it too late to change my mind?," know that you're not the only one.

Rest assured that for many who are undecided finding the right career path is a process that takes more effort and time than expected. And although we hope that you chose your major in part because you enjoy the subject matter and want to use that information in your career in some way, sometimes the broad scope of potential paths are overwhelming. For example, you might decide to use your undergrad STEMM degree as the foundation for additional degrees—such as an MD, MSC (master's of science degree), or PHD. Or you might decide on a career where your BS degree is all that is necessary to be successful.

We connected with an undergrad in the lab who was planning to apply for several summer research programs. They wanted to know how many recommendation letters they could ask each professor to write. As usual, we edited the conversation for brevity and to remove identifying details so the student remains anonymous.

14
Sep

Mentoring Matters with Dr. Jennifer Robison

photo of Dr Robison and family displaying school spirit (Manchester University Spartans) at home

Dr. Jennifer Robison Assistant Professor of biology at Manchester University located in North Manchester, Indiana. Her research program focuses on understanding the molecular and physiological events that occur during abiotic stress in plants. Connect with her on Twitter @JenRobiSci .

Q1:If you had a mentor(s) as an undergrad who you credit for the career path you're on now, please share a little bit about who they were and what they did that made such an impact.

14
Aug

Mentoring Matters with Dr. Mary E. Konkle

Dr. Mary E. Konkle is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Ball State University (WHERE). Connect with her on Twitter at @mechem44996100 .and by email mekonkle@bsu.edu

Q1: If you had a mentor(s) as an undergrad who you credit for the career path you're on now, please share a little bit about who they were and what they did that made such an impact.

Dr. Mitch Anstey (he/him/his) is an assistant professor at Davidson College (Davidson, NC) in the Department of Chemistry. Davidson College is a primarily undergraduate college with a student body of roughly 2000. As with many institutions concerned with student and staff safety, Davidson College enacted a blanket policy in early April prohibiting student research on campus for the upcoming summer. Connect with Dr. Anstey on Twitter @theyneedacraned or through email mianstey@davidson.edu

For me, being able to say yes to mentoring undergrads in remote research projects this summer was not easy.

I am a parent of three children below the age of five. I am also a college professor teaching a full course load. Even when school and childcare line up perfectly, I still feel like I’m working two full-time jobs. But school and daycare closures and a fear of COVID exposure from childcare providers mean that my spouse and I are now the only support our children have.

19
May

Summer Isn't What it Used to Be

—from the Lab Manager's bench and the PI's Desk

If you’re feeling abandoned by your research project because of COVID-19-related cancelations, you’re not alone. This summer, many undergrads who thought they would be participating in an intensive undergraduate research experience in a lab, clinic, or field are finding it difficult to reconcile that their program has been shuttered or their experience has been moved to an online format.

In the last few weeks, we’ve answered concerns from students and mentors alike on how to best navigate summer research experiences in this uncertain climate. To our undergrad readers, know that it’s understandable to be disappointed. It doesn’t make you selfish or inconsiderate of what’s going on in the world to feel let down because your summer research experience is no longer what you imagined it would be and it’s currently falling short of your expectations.

And to our mentors—the same. We’re right there with you with all the fears and frustrations connected with watching our projects hibernate or derail along with informing our mentees of the consequences and the lack of control we have over the situation.

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