What's a day in the life of a Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University like?

What's a day in the life of a Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University like?
2018-11-07T19:18:23Z 4
2018-11-07T19:18:23Z

Former Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University

almost 2 years ago
It really varies greatly from lab to lab. I had a great experience, but since my work involved incubating E. Coli, I had to come in to the lab at 24-hour intervals, which can be difficult to weave into a class schedule. The restraints and technical difficulties are obviously different across disciplines, but from what I've heard, many of the professors allow a good deal of flexibility when it comes to setting hours. They understand that you have a full course load after all.
2018-11-07T19:18:23Z

Former Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University

almost 2 years ago
Professorial Assistants are required to spend 8-10 hours a week in the lab. I know some of my peers complete this by spending 2 or 3 days in the lab for longer periods of time and some, like me, are often in the lab every weekday. I often exceeded my 8-10 hour requirement to gain more training and trust from other members of the lab. Doing so allowed me to take part in more complicated projects and gain more overall experience. I also found my lab to be very accomodating during midterms, should I ask for a day off, they often gave it to me. Or when my schedule was packed on one day of the week, I could often come in another day and put in more time at the lab. All of this was a result of their trust in my dedication and capabilities. If I had gained a reputation of slacking off or not showing up at agreed times, I'm sure they would've been less flexible.
2018-11-07T19:18:23Z

Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University

almost 2 years ago
This varies widely depending on the field of research and the professor you are working under. Typically, a PA does many of the simpler tasks for research projects which require less technical knowledge and are more time-consuming.
2018-11-07T19:18:23Z

Professorial Assistant at Michigan State University

almost 2 years ago
It varies drastically depending on which projects you get assigned to. I currently do most of my school work and classes throughout the day, and spend time doing research for my P.A. once my assignments are done. It definitely can be managed, but make sure you balance your time accordingly.
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