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Swarthmore College

Summer Researcher

June - August 2021 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

Doing semi-independent research related to a topic of interest

What I wish was different

It would have been better if it hadn't had to be remote

Advice

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Independent Researcher

June - August 2020 • Washington, DC

What I liked

I was able to dictate my own schedule which was very liberating.

What I wish was different

It was hard to do research online with a spotty wifi connection.

Advice

Make sure you have a solid analytical framework and have consulted extensively with a faculty member before beginning research.
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Researcher

May - August 2020 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I got to decide what I was doing and when I wanted to do it. My instructor was also really great

What I wish was different

I wish I had access to more tools

Advice

Do what you love, love what you do
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Phonetics Lab Intern

May - August 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

It was really interesting work, I enjoyed working with my coworkers

What I wish was different

I wish that I had been able to do more ultrasound aligning work, but the alignment script was not ready by the time I had to leave.

Advice

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Research Assistant

May - August 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I loved the independence that my professor gave me in terms of research focus and time management. I was able to design my own research experience under his guidance and accomplish what I wanted.

What I wish was different

I wish I had had more meetings with my professor. I found that our in-person meetings were more productive than our email exchanges.

Advice

Be disciplined about how you approach time management. Research can take a lot of time and you often encounter hurdles that you can't anticipate until you make progress and learn more about the complexity of the problem you are tackling.
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Research Assistant

May - August 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

My research in Swarthmore's engineering department was very empowering. I got to call most of the shots on how to solve problems or even which problems we should be solving. My instructor was always there to help, but at the same time he understood that we would learn the most if we had some autonomy.

What I wish was different

The work was fun and rewarding. I don't think there is anything I would change.

Advice

Get plenty of sleep.
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Psychology Research Assistant

June 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I liked having the chance to drive my own project and learn about the process of research.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had more teammates working on the same project - it would have been more social and collaborative.

Advice

Every psych student should try research at least once, if not more, to experience the process. See if you can envision yourself doing similar for your career! Whether you like it or not, you'll learn more about yourself and your career aspirations.
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Biophysical Chemistry Research Assistant

June 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I loved the intuition as a research and academic that I developed over the summer . Being able to read papers, design experiments, make hypotheses and test those hypotheses and develop my scientific thinking and writing abilities were super empowering for me.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time over the summer.

Advice

I walked in with no research background at all. I kept thinking I wasn't good enough or smart enough but eventually , I learned a lot.
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Swarthmore Projects for Educational Exploration and Development (SPEED) Intern

June - July 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I enjoyed the work environment and the collaboration with my co-workers.

What I wish was different

I wish that we had had slightly longer to work on our projects. This was an eight-week program, but given that that time included training, I felt that it could have been a ten-week one.

Advice

Students should consider applying even if they do not have a strong background in coding or web development! I had only a small background in Python, but was able to learn the skills I needed and ended up writing quite a bit of code; moreover, my experience in other areas contributed to my projects. We found that having a team of interns with diverse academic backgrounds and work experience was invaluable in planning, designing, managing, and presenting our projects. The specific technical skills you will need for the scope of your project are likely something you can acquire specifically FOR that project during training.
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

May - August 2018 • Pembroke, VA

What I liked

It was really great to have a chance to do field research and develop my own research project.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Developer and Designer

June - July 2018 • Swarthmore, PA

What I liked

I loved how diverse and different everyone's background was, and how that multifaceted approach obviously contributed to the quality of the projects.

What I wish was different

Advice

I learned that to take creative impetus in a project is the difference between feeling motivation and ownership of that creative process, and feeling like you're just working for someone else.
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