The Importance of an Undergraduate Research Experience

As the world becomes increasingly competitive, it’s become vital that graduating students demonstrate meaningful experience outside of the classroom. Internships are the most common means of displaying this to future employers, but some internships lack the necessary data to exhibit the student’s proficiency. Skills associated with extracurricular experience should be easily quantifiable, so future employers won’t need to guess the impact the individual student has. However, research has proven to be one of the leading forces in business, medicine, and more. Here are three reasons why students should participate in undergraduate research. 

Skill Acquisition

Many research opportunities don’t require field-specific knowledge. The faculty associated with the project will teach you the necessary protocols to complete any activities. Doing so will allow you to acquire the skills and critical thinking necessary to excel if you decide to pursue that field. Additionally, any field of research can be a vital component for undergraduates to learn time management, quantitative analysis, and innovation.

Experience

Often students feel stressed about classes, even if it’s a laboratory or simulation class designed to teach hands-on concepts, it’s because ultimately their time spent is being graded. However, researching allows you the chance to learn, make mistakes, and grow as a person without the worry of it negatively affecting your GPA. 

Publishing

One of the major aspects of research that you can carry with you throughout your entire lifetime is the prospect of publishing a paper on the research with your name on it. Having your name on a published paper is a way of showing future employers and interviewers that you have the qualifications to make a long-term impact in their company.

Research has the power to make you as a student stand apart from fellow applicants for graduate school or job interviews; however, remember that the primary focus of the research itself is to be innovative. Depending on the project, you may be a member of a team to model, invent, or identify something crucial and, at the very minimum, your research will drive education forward!

Pearson Students: Have you participated in undergraduate research? Share your experience by commenting below!

 

Justin Lee is a senior at Florida State University majoring in Biology. He currently does research in organic chemistry and cell culture, along with working in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department using mass spectrometry. Outside of classes he is a member of the non-profit organization Camp Kesem, which is dedicated to helping children through and beyond their parent’s cancer with year-round events. Justin is also a Pearson Campus Ambassador at Florida State, working with students on campus to drive education forward.

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