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Washington State University

Technical Research Assistant

June 2021 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed the freedom to schedule the days that I could come in to work. And I really liked getting to use some of the equipment for doing mechanical testing as well as using the SEM for documenting additive samples used in concrete reinforcement research.

What I wish was different

I wish that the research facilities were larger to accommodate for adding more testing equipment since they were shared among other research departments and scheduling conflicts for using the machines were inconvenient.

Advice

Scheduling your own days for testing multiple samples can be a bit stressful, and I would encourage anybody in this position to seek out help from coworkers and the supervisor in figuring out a good solid schedule.
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Undergraduate Researcher

June - August 2021 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

Immersive hands-on experience that allowed me focus on research in physics. At WSU, I had the ability to conduct my work independently while also receiving guidance from mentors. At the end of the summer, I was able to present my work in a symposium. We also visited LIGO observatory in Hanford, which was very fascinating.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time to continue my work. I felt very dedicated to the project I was assigned and felt an ownership over the work I contributed to the group.

Advice

REU experiences are a great opportunity for students to determine if graduate school is actually something you want to pursue. If you are on the fence about it, participate in an REU and you'll know whether or now grad school is right for you. Also, some REU's pay so you learn about yourself, really cool science, and have some money in your pocket at the end of the summer.
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Engineering Research Intern

May 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

It gave me a great opportunity to get into an emergent technology

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Talk to all of your professors about their resesrvh!
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Carpenter

May - August 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

Physical labor. I was outside in the sun a lot depending on where we working that day.

What I wish was different

Lots of downtime. Led to feeling like the day was wasted.

Advice

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Technical Assistant

May - August 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I love the team and the ability to help customers with their tech issues.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Climbing Wall Supervisor

August 2017 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

UREC works closely with students and their busy schedules. Constant opportunities for professional and personal development. Grant opportunities for professional development.

What I wish was different

They lean on their student staff a lot, but don't take student concerns and suggestions to the extent they say they do.

Advice

Be firm on your schedule preferences, and speak up if something is working and continue to speak up.
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Research Assistant

August 2020 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

A fast-paced learning environment that balanced personal experiment inquiry and design setup with guided procedural methods. Aside from this, the job presented many opportunities to learn more about antibiotic resistance mechanisms as well as

What I wish was different

I wish that I would have applied for such a position sooner, I have learned so much in the past few months of employment and would be much further along if I would have started sooner.

Advice

Take the time to read peer-reviewed articles pertaining to your topic of employment interest as this will help you grow comfortable with procedures as well as serve as a resource for the troubleshooting process.
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Software Engineering Intern

June 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask questions
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Communications Assistant

March 2018 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

The atmosphere is conducive to personal and professional growth. Many staff members are willing to take the time to teach you elements of the job that you would not have time for in other positions. The ability to collaborate with students and staff is great for creating connections with all management levels.

What I wish was different

The job title was quite vague and still remains as such. The on boarding was lackluster because there are so many elements to know, and it is an ever-changing position making it difficult to sum up in one short job description.

Advice

This job is great for someone who is driven and willing to make the experience their own. You must be ready to change plans at a moment's notice because very few elements remain constant.
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Microbiology Laboratory Assistant

July 2018 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I have learned so much in this lab and the experience I am getting is invaluable, I have obtained skills that I would have never gotten by only learning the theory. I learned things that are not only related to my major but are very important when getting a full time job, like having good and constant communication with my leaders, be more independent when doing a project. Having deadlines for projects and finish them with a good quality. All the techniques I learned also helped me understand my classes much better.

What I wish was different

I wish I started working here earlier because now I have so many plans to do my undergraduate research and learn other things. The professionals working in this lab have offered me to teach me very important skills for when I am looking for a job. They also have shown interest in helping me with my undergraduate research. However, I will graduate soon and might not have enough time to do all the plans I have.

Advice

When you get to college, get experience working in lab as soon as you can. This helped me learn so much more and have a greater professional network. I also had a clearer perspective of what I want to do now that I will graduate and I also have a more realistic perspective of what the field of microbiology is in the practice and not only in theory.
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System admin

January - December 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

Very supportive group of people

What I wish was different

Wish I'd have been a little more prepared

Advice

Go for it, whatever 'it' is, just go for it.
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Apartment Custodian

May - August 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

Very good pay, consistent hours

What I wish was different

I really liked my job

Advice

If you get the opportunity to work there, do it!!!
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Lab assistant

April - September 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I gained experience and a reference for future jobs.

What I wish was different

That I would be able to be monetarily compensated.

Advice

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Community Ecology Research Intern

May 2019 • Vancouver, WA

What I liked

I love the Piovia-Scott lab! Its been a great experience learning and has taught me a lot of laboratory and biohazard skills as well as handling amphibians

What I wish was different

I wish the lab was a little bit more organized as far as scheduling goes

Advice

I would say that you have to be very aware of your surroundings and what you are doing as to not contaminate anything.
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Assistant Coordinating Director, Okinawa ESL Camp

February - July 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

It was a great experience to get my hands into the planning side of an international summer camp. I learned a lot about all the cogs in the machine, from making sure transit times had proper slack, to planning short ESL lessons to fill time gaps in case of activity cancellation. Working with middle school and high school students from Okinawa Japan has been exceedinly rewarding for the past three years, and getting to do it in an elevatated role was a priviledge. Watching students learn, have fun, and enjoy their experience in America is twice as rewarding when you know you had a hand in making it happen.

What I wish was different

Some of the logistics weren't complete when day 1 of the camp arrived. It would have been nice if my boss had had the schedule properly locked down before the camp started. Its not the best look to have to tell chaperones from the kids' schools that you "don't know" what the next day's schedule will look like.

Advice

If you like a job, work hard. Ask for more work. Make yourself available when others won't. Go that extra mile, and also be honest with your boss. Fostering that relationship is what will give you that chance to take that next step up.
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Greenhouse Technician

October 2018 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I love working with the plants and getting to see the awesome research that's taking place at WSU!

What I wish was different

Advice

Be prepared to wash pots and get dirty!
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Professional Worker

December 2017 • Pasco, WA

What I liked

Flexibility

What I wish was different

n/A

Advice

Good starting experience
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Lead Graphic Designer

May 2019 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I liked that I was given free reign to learn as much as I could about graphic design. I built a curriculum to train my future team, developed print/marketing services for our client base, and had complete creative freedom on designs I was tasked with.

What I wish was different

I wish there was more structure in my learning. I almost had too much freedom. There was no one at a level above me verifying that what I was teaching myself was accurate or practical.

Advice

Find someone credible on campus to give you a frame of reference or structure for your own learning and the curriculum you build. None of the employees in the department know anything about graphic design.
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Bio Science Aid

May 2018 • Pullman, WA

What I liked

I like the diversity of projects that I am able to work on and learning all of the new techniques.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Field Assistant

May - August 2019 • Marblemount, WA

What I liked

Working outside every day, we would backpack to locations throughout North Cascades national park where we would collect lichen samples for use in a research project.

What I wish was different

Not much!

Advice

Make sure to have personal goals for the summer job/research experience set before you even start.
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