My Choice

  1. How can what you have learned in class be applied to you career goal, both in obtaining that goal and after the goal has been obtained? How can you “market” what you have gained in this course to future employers/educational programs?

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I’m hoping that what I learn in this class can be easily applied to outside the class and be a good addition to my applications for grad school. I think it will make me a more competitive candidate to have this experience. Heinz Reiske writes in “Getting into and Surviving Graduate School” that one of the best things a student can have on their application is research experience. You should take advantage of any opportunities your university has. I feel concerned about my GPA and I see this whole experience as confidence building because I am able to demonstrate my abilities beyond testing.

Lara Pacifici and Norman Thomson talk about what students really get out of their college extracurricular experiences in “What Do They Expect? A Comparison of Student Expectations and Outcomes of Undergraduate Research Experiences.” They asked students about what they wanted to get out of their research experience and how they felt once they finished. Expectations were greater than reality in knowledge gain, peer connections, faculty connections, and publishing. What matters most is that students are getting an example of its really life to work in a lab. Students are looking for real people or what Pacifici and Thomson call a “real life” example of what it is like to do research. I feel like that’s what drew me to this class is I’m getting to apply everything I have learned and getting to decide how I feel about teaching. So this class, for me, is definitely about narrowing my options and focusing on finding a career route. I need to decide between the research and teaching before I start getting serious about graduate school. 

Reiske finishes his advice article with “Lastly, have a life.”  It is important for students once they reach that graduate level to be able to step away from their research and de-stress. It made me really happy to read this advice after all the other points about things I have to do. 

Reiske, Heinz. “Getting into and Surviving Graduate School.” Bios 72.3 (2001): 100-02.JSTOR. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.

Pacifici, Lara B., and Norman Thomson. “What Do They Expect? A Comparison of Student Expectations and Outcomes of Undergraduate Research Experiences.”Journal of College Science Teaching 41.1 (2011): 54-59. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Oct. 2013.

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One response to “My Choice”

  1. mckennast says :

    “Yea, you really should get a life”. Just kidding. I am no one to talk. I agree that this class is a great opportunity to show potential employers or graduate school admissions that you are capable of working and have had experience working in a lab. I love working in labs but I have to force myself to work with people instead so I don’t become too much of a socially awkward person. Learning how to teach a lesson is what I have been able to get out of this class that can pertain to my future career. I hope that I can either become connected with this service learning and research program in the future or be able to create some kind of research project for the students to do in my classes. Sometimes however, I wish I had known what to do to prepare for graduate school admissions and had the time to focus on school work and be serious about working in the science department in order to become a better candidate for research and fieldwork.

    I know that you will do great work though. Even if you don’t have a specified plan for what you want to do I know that you will be able to accomplish whatever you set out to accomplish. You have the ambition and the desire to do so.

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