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University of Michigan

Undergraduate Researcher

September 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I liked gaining laboratory experience that was very much relevant to what I was studying and also gave me an insight to something I have never experienced.

What I wish was different

Maybe more flexibility in terms of moving between labs.

Advice

Always communicate effectively and own up to your responsibilities.
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Psychologist Research Assistant

June - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Being a research assistant at the Social Minds Lab was an immersive experience in the life of a researcher. I was able to engage in all kinds of tasks, from study design to data analysis. I really enjoyed the lab camaraderie as well as being able to work under a graduate student. Since Knox College is only an undergraduate institution, my graduate student helped flesh out what being a researcher means for your day-to-day experience. I also enjoyed learning new skills, like programming R, and sharpening current skills, like oral presentation and writing research papers.

What I wish was different

I wish there had been more friendship and collaboration with other interns in the research program. Many times, it felt like it was just an individual journey in research, and I would have enjoyed getting to know other interns as part of the experience.

Advice

If you are thinking about going to graduate school, it is vital you get research experience in another institution. Expose yourself to it and see if it is something you could do for 4 to 6 years. If you want to get a lucrative research internship, it is important to work hard and dig deep---superficial statements about research won't help. Once you are in the position, don't feel dismayed or discouraged if everything feels confusing and incomprehensible. It is a sharp learning curve, and you have to get used to failing before you can achieve mastery.
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Parent and Family Orientation Leader

March 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

My coworkers were wonderful. The administrative staff and overall work environment were wonderful. I always felt supported and as though I could grow in my role.

What I wish was different

I wish the summer leading new freshman and transfer students around the University never had to end!

Advice

The Office of New Students is looking for diversity and leadership skills. Everybody has something special to bring to the team, and make sure this is clear and evident in your interview.
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Research Assistant

June 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I really enjoyed the work environment with the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Everyone was extremely kind and helpful.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Student Researcher

June - August 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I learned a lot and had a lot of autonomy over how to approach the problem I had been tasked with.

What I wish was different

There wasn't as much supervision as I would have liked and I spent a lot of time being a confused about the research process and how to organize myself in approaching the tasks at hand. (though I learned a lot through the experience)

Advice

Be ready to be independent. Find your own papers, your own methods, actively check in with advisers to be sure you are on a decent path, and then implement confidently. Make sure to always test your hypothesis. Being formal about the research process can really help with keeping yourself grounded through this process. This mindset and these skills will keep you level headed in times of frustration and confident in times of confusion.
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Summer Research Undergraduate Student

May - July 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

This REU program was a great opportunity to learn about the field of academia in applied mathematics. I collaborated with amazing professors and post-doc students, and learned about biological questions that can be approached with math.

What I wish was different

More interaction with fellow students in the program would have made the experience more inclusive.

Advice

Definitely participate in an REU program like this if you are considering a career in academia, specifically in a STEM subject.
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Student Services Assistant

June - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

The people at my department were awesome, it was a really fast-paced work environment in my office and I learned a lot.

What I wish was different

Nothing, it was a good part-time summer job.

Advice

When looking for jobs at the University is important to keep in mind that the office environment, culture, and pace of work differs a lot between departments.
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Honors Summer Fellow

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I was able to dedicate an entire summer to researching my senior honors thesis through the LSA Honors Summer Fellowship program. I received a $6,000 stipend for this program. I enjoyed the time and independence to focus exclusively on research. By the end of the summer, I had completed a solid chunk of my research, obtained an IRB exemption for my survey, and began writing my literature review. I also enjoyed the weekly seminars on topics such as quantitative methods, qualitative interview coding, how to use a reference manager, and how to present my research in a publicly accessible way.

What I wish was different

I really enjoyed the program as a whole and appreciated the balance of independent work and the weekly check-ins. I would not personally change anything.

Advice

If you decide to write a senior thesis, definitely apply to this program. Not only will you enter your senior year in a much more prepared position, but you will also learn important skills such as how to engage the public with your research in an understandable, fascinating way, and you will also be part of an incredible cohort of fellow thesis writers from all different disciplines.
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Biology Laboratory Assistant

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I liked that I got to learn from a great team. The supervising leader was amazing and easy to talk to. I go to know everyone there and make a good relationship. Moreover, I was able to learn a great deal more about research in the work I was doing as well as various other fields.

What I wish was different

I wish that I could have been there for longer and continued to the research. I would not change anything else because it was amazing.

Advice

You have to be confident in what you do because you will be independent in the work that you are tasked to do. However, never be scared to ask questions so that you can properly complete a task and make the learning experience and outcome that much greater.
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Grounds Caretaker

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I liked being able to work outside and getting off early enough to still enjoy the rest of my day. I also liked the people that I worked with and learning about different plants. I also liked the flexibility. The administration really works with you, especially if you’re a student or are a reputable employee.

What I wish was different

I wish that there had been more equal treatment. I experienced some discrimination in the types of tasks I was asked to do because I was a girl

Advice

If you don’t like being outside or waking up early in the morning, this probably isn’t the job for you.
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Team Leader of Catering

September 2018 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Very flexible, can work as many hours as I would like, the people are great.

What I wish was different

Understaffed so can be stressful

Advice

Great job for college students!
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Data Analyst Intern

May - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I loved the schedule flexibility. We had a goal in mind, and I was able to work at my own leisure in achieving that goal. I also loved the creative freedom I had. I was able to make the data analysis tool the way I envisioned while working with my PI’s goals. Which resulted in a product that was as intended but also my own!

What I wish was different

Wish I had more time to spend on the project from my end - I had another summer job. Also, would have been nice if theres was a formal training, both my PI and I were basically new to the tools and software.

Advice

In terms of opportunities, just always consider YES. Take the opportunity, evaluate it, gain the experience, then go about making a decision on how it aligns with your goals. If it isn’t working out, then communicate that. I was lucky enough to have a very understanding and influential PI. My advice is to always take opportunities and stay honest with yourself and your goals.
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Office Assistant

April - September 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I loved the professional development opportunities available to me as a entry level Office Assistant. Full time faculty dedicated time and resources to understand and meet the needs of young professionals.

What I wish was different

My space was a bit cramped. It wasn't uncomfortable though.

Advice

Network! Working in the University you will meet so many professionals. Making positive impressions and speaking with them will open professional and personal development opportunities.
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Orientation Residential Staff

June - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I really enjoyed the flexible work schedule that I had because I was able to take spring/summer classes while working.

What I wish was different

I wish that the job was better developed (because it was a new position) so I would know what was always expected of me

Advice

Be confident and open to speak and learn from the many students you will meet.
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

May - June 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

I could choose my own hours, so it was flexible.

What I wish was different

I wish that I was more engaged with the other people working in the lab; I often worked alone.

Advice

Reach out to professors that you know to see if they are doing research and will hire you.
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Social Media Intern

February - August 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

The relaxes schedule, work environment

What I wish was different

nothing really. quite satisfied with the job itself

Advice

understand the social media landscape
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Psychologist Research Assistant

July 2019 • Ann Arbor, MI

What I liked

Great faculty, engaging research process that was not just limited to data entry. Faculty kept in close contact and care about students lives and wellbeing

What I wish was different

Nothing so far

Advice

Make sure that you research what will be expected of you in your lab beforehand. A lot of labs just give you the title of the lab to draw you in and you end up doing nothing but data entry, but thankfully in my experience at Umich, there are plenty of faculty who engage students at all sorts of processes and levels of interests/tasks. Dr. Sandra Graham-Bermann's lab has been especially great at exposing student researchers to all sorts of meaningful and engaging tasks.
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Field Archaeologist

May - June 2019 • Kosovo Polje, Pristina District

What I liked

The formative experience I was given the opportunity to have.

What I wish was different

Nothing.

Advice

Get out and explore the world while young. There is no time like one's youth to travel and experience as wide an array of different cultural traditions as possible.
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