http://www.chop.edu

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Undergraduate Research Assistant

January 2017 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Loved my team and the mentorship they showed me. They truly were like a second family and their enthusiasm for science showed!

What I wish was different

In person research over the summer of 2020 would have been ideal. Also experierenced a pay cut and role change due to COVID-19. Principally, I just wish there was more stability/respect for me and the work I do.

Advice

Engage with CHOP's resources! They're unqiue and extremely helpful.
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Research Tech

July 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Highly motivated people. Great Science

What I wish was different

nothing

Advice

Great place to be
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Plastic Surgery Research Assistant

April 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

There were several opportunities to shadow surgeons, different departments, physicians of any kind!

What I wish was different

I wish I had more in depth projects to work on.

Advice

I recommend getting as much as you can with the shadowing experience. It can open different doors as far as relationships and career options.
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Assitant for Clinical Reasearcher

June - August 2018 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Exposure to office work, lab research, and in-person care for patients in the hospital

What I wish was different

I wish I had more of a say in the projects that I worked on, I had an amazing experience, but the largest project I worked on was horribly organized and I don't want to contribute to that again.

Advice

Make sure you have your commute planned out!
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REU Student

June - August 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I was able to attend multiple seminars a week to learn about different careers and public health research being conducted at CHOP. We were given free housing for the summer, and I loved having the opportunity to explore Philadelphia when I was not at work. I was given a lot of freedom to conduct my project, but also a lot of help whenever it was needed. It was great to work with world-renowned researchers and have my brain stimulated each day!

What I wish was different

There were a few days where I had a lot of downtime (which could be seen as good or bad). I usually tried to use this downtime to research grad schools or careers I was interested in and met with co-workers to hear about their career paths and gain advice from them. I also used a few days where I didn't have much work to do to go to local universities and meet with their graduate admissions.

Advice

Be open to any new experience! Going into the REU I thought I had my mind made up about what careers and graduate programs I was interested in, but this summer gave much more insight about the realities of applying and getting into graduate school. Also, get out and explore the city when you're not at work, I went to professional sports games, watched fireworks on the 4th at the museum of art, and ate delicious food at Reading Terminal Market, Philly has so much to offer!
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Infection Control

January 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Being able to work at CHOP

What I wish was different

Advice

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

June 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I love the supportive environment and seeing the ins and outs of research projects.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time to sit in at meetings to get a more holistic picture of the project.

Advice

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Research Assistant

July - October 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

What I wish was different

I wish I had gotten paid for the position.

Advice

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Volunteer

September 2018 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Great environment, all of the nurses that I interacted with were understanding and eager to help. Opportunity to enrich the experiences of CHOP patients and families through the volunteer program.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

August 2017 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I was given the independence and resources to participate in and design my own experiments for one of the projects I was working on. I learned more about the organic research process, in all of its unpredictable but rewarding aspects.

What I wish was different

Having a more organized structure and more guidance to the projects themselves would have helped ensure efficiency and minimal waste of time, money, and resources.

Advice

Research comes in many forms, and your experience in one type of research setting does not determine the nature of every research job or field that there is. Additionally, the people that you work under make a huge difference in your view of the field/job itself. When applying and interviewing for research positions, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Making sure you find a good mentor, so that any skills and information you learn is reliable and useful, is key to having a good research experience.
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National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) student

June - August 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

This REU location is unique compared to others in the sense that the research is taking place at a hospital rather than an academic institution. I loved seeing the direct benefits my research had for children, adolescents, and young adults. I value my summer experience through the NSF REU program because I was able to immerse myself in cutting-edge research, learn about various types of technical equipment, and use new data analysis software. This experience has better equipped me for pursuing a PhD in Psychology.

What I wish was different

Advice

You should be an effective independent worker that can also collaborate with a larger team, and overall enjoy contributing to and conducting research.
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Psychologist Research Assistant

July 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

Besides the research being very interesting, the schedule was very flexible; I was able to work remotely when I wanted to or come down to the research center at the hospital and work at a cubicle. My Principal Investigator also gave me a lot of opportunities not only to "just be a part of the research team" but also opportunities for publication (both a journal article and poster abstract).

What I wish was different

The funding is pretty limited and most of the research assistant positions are unpaid.

Advice

These types of jobs are not very well advertised. Instead of shuffling through job postings or LinkedIn, utilizing your personal network or reaching out directly to PIs that you're interested in working with usually results in more success.
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Biology Research Intern

May - August 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I loved interacting with the patients, doctors, researcher and lab techs. I love swing each perspective in trying to find a cure for cardiology defects in children.

What I wish was different

Honestly, nothing. This experience was so beneficial. I got to see an actual surgery of a doctor fixing a valve in the heart.

Advice

Never give up applying for internship. I applied on handshake for a psychology internship at CHOP. She referred me to a Biology internship at CHOP on cardiology defects. I applied for another research on Mitochondrial DNA which I got and now I am doing my senior capstone with CHOP. It's truly a dream come true and the greatest opportunity.
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Research Intern

June - August 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I loved the CHOP and University of Pennsylvania collaboration. Patient care, research, and education are all rolled into one entity and I was able to view my own career goals through this lens. I was also able to increase my hands on experience in a lab setting which is helping me now in my classes.

What I wish was different

I wish I had spoken to more people while I was there, either in informational interviews or shadowing experiences.

Advice

I would take advantage of everything that is offered to you, plus more. Everyone affiliated with the program, CHOP, and the University of Pennsylvania are very willing to help you, but only if you ask for it.
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

April 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

The lab members, learning new laboratory techniques

What I wish was different

Lack of early involvement in the lab

Advice

You get out of research what you put in.
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Senior Nursing Aid

September 2018 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

This job has allowed me to get a better view of the healthcare world.

What I wish was different

If I could change one thing, I would prefer to work less.

Advice

It is very essential to network while you are working.
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Software Engineering Intern

June 2019 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

The teams were very helpful to an undergrad intern.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Summer Research Intern

June - August 2018 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

People, project, mentors

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Make the most of it. Lots of opportunities, just keep embracing them all.
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Research Assistant

May 2017 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I love how supportive the community is and how much progress CHOP research in general makes.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

I would definitely suggest to make sure to take advantage of all opportunities available.
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Patient Media Intern

May - August 2018 • Philadelphia, PA

What I liked

I liked working with the children in the hospital and getting the chance to share my experience with the patients. Especially when I got the chance to go into the patient's room and teach them how to use some of the equipment.

What I wish was different

Advice

I would recommend going into this experience or any experience with an open mind because you will get so much more out of it when you are able to just go with the flow and adapt quickly since each day was so different.
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