Research positions

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Discus: College Admissions: 2002 - 2003 Archive: March 2003 Archive: Research positions
By Mitwannabe (Mitwannabe) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 08:59 pm: Edit

i don't see how people are getting research internships with all these labs and firms, i mean, most of the people dont want high school students cuz they're useless, hs students haven't gone through a 4 year degree program, and i don't see how hs students can just walk in and start doing research for some of these places, i mean, for most research you have to have university or college level experience and knowledge, absolutely nothing you can pick up in a high school, will someone please care to fill me in?

And on a further note, for those who do get internships (research oriented), with whom do you get them, and how did you get them? (cuz i'm pretty sure ppl dont just put a potato in an acidic pan, observe the results and then write on their college applications performed post-secondary analysis on starch based glucose macromolecular hydrogen ion excess environment -- I'm really curious, I'm eager to do research, but I dont see why a company would like to hire me over a grad student)

By Atpchik (Atpchik) on Sunday, March 16, 2003 - 10:57 pm: Edit

First of all, not everyone gets an internship. You need to be very proficient in the area that you are going to do research in. For example I have a research position at a university lab. I contacted the professor and explained my background, which included intense studies in bio. I also mentioned some of their research papers I read. I got an offer and now I work in the lab. They don't just let you come in cold doing research, you go through months of training and learning procedures with various lab staff. Also, labs would like to get high school students because we don't have as many "paradigms" about what can and can't happen, so we're less likely to have biases. Also, professors are eager to work with people who have an intense interest in the subject matter, believe it or not. Even though I doubt this is the reason, as I side note, we are free labor or almost free labor. DOn't expect to get paid much if at all. So have fun w/ your search, and let me know if you have more questions.

By Vizious (Vizious) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:10 pm: Edit

I had a internship at a biotechnology company last summer. Granted, I didnt do a lot of research (mostly did the mundane tasks in the lab (mundane meaning things that take a bit of time but are coo like minipreps(plasmid DNA extraction), etc.). It wasn't too hard nor deep, but it was an invaluable experience. I didn't get paid, but I learned very good lab techniques and gained a lot of lab skills.

I got the internship through a training program through a local community college, who then referred me to the company. My advice if you are looking for internships is to actively ask around. Go to local college websites and look up all the professors and see if they need help. One of my friends, for example, went to a every local university's website and contacted every single professor in the department he was interested in. Eventually, he found an unpaid internship.

Internships are really valuable, I mean it was worth the free labor just to be in a lab doing neat things.

By Howdydoody (Howdydoody) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:20 pm: Edit

How do you document this with colleges?

By Nyguy (Nyguy) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:38 pm: Edit

you need to research the area in which you want the position. A year should suffice. Read papers and then contact the author. Your position may not be salaried if money is an issue research before college may not be your best choice. You then write a paper for the Intel STS, If yours is good enough, you are selected as a semi0finliast and pretty much guranteed ivy league admissions as only 300 people receive this honor each year. You can also enter regional science fairs. any type of award will signify your involvement, you can send the colleges your paper as well. research isnt all that difficult, its just something you do when your nobusy withother stuff

By Howdydoody (Howdydoody) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:55 pm: Edit

Would you send the abstract or the entire paper? It is pretty doubtful that an adcom would read the whole thing, and they get annoyed pretty easily, especially if your folder is really thick. Would an abstract along with a description of what you did suffice, or would you recommend sending the paper (which could be very long...)?

By Kalitiha (Kalitiha) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 10:59 pm: Edit

I have nothing to say about research, though it sounds cool. A girl in my school discovered a new species of snake or something, I know it's benefits.


How do you know that Adcoms get annoyed easily? What kinds of behavior or application files annoy them? I think I'm just getting too neurotic these last couple weeks. But, I sent letters to my admissions counselors to update them on my new achievements. Is this going to screw me over at the 11th hour?

By Howdydoody (Howdydoody) on Monday, March 17, 2003 - 11:17 pm: Edit

No, I don't think that would screw you over. I am the same way. I just don't know if they want a twenty-five page research paper or just an abstract. I have just been told that the people with the thickest application files often look anal, and, therefore, it is not good to send too much stuff. That is why I am questioning the submission of a huge research paper. I just wanted some advice. I really know nothing more than you do. What exactly did you send them? Just a sheet or two? That shouldn't hurt. I can't believe that a simple update would prove harmful...I wouldn't worry about it. To be honest, I believe that most decisions have probably already been made and chances are that anything sent in the last week or so wouldn't make a difference, although I am unsure.

By Mitwannabe (Mitwannabe) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 12:26 am: Edit

good stuff, thanks, i'm trying to scramble to get one, i'm checking out a few positions, i just hope my work ethic will appeal to them. if u mind me asking, how did u approach them, via email or some letter, correct, so how did u start it off and explain what you wanted to do and why they should consider u?

By Chronoshock (Chronoshock) on Wednesday, March 19, 2003 - 12:59 am: Edit

Heh, I got an internship at a Neuroscience lab in Boston last summer. My friend's dad is an anaesthesiologist and one of his colleague's runs this lab. I was telling my friend how I didn't have any plans for the summer, and since his dad was driving us, he suggested that I get in touch with his colleague. One thing led to another and I ended up workin there for the summer. All of the material was, as expected, way way over my head. We're talking 2nd year Calculus and statistics and I hadn't even begun AP Calc yet. Anyways, this guy was an MIT/Harvard professor and he wrote a recommendation for me. Now I'm going to MIT :)

Try to work through connections when finding an internship. To approach them, I would call them and explain that you are looking for a summer internship and elaborate on how you could help them and vice versa. After the phone call, e-mail them a copy of your resume. Good luck!

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