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How to get work/TA-like experience while an undergrad?

  1. Apr 18, 2015 #1
    I have just finished my second year of my undergrad in biomedical physics, and I am just wondering what would be a good approach to go about getting some work experience in physics (maybe something similar to a TA, but obviously not working towards a master's in physics..yet). I feel as though my grades are not at all accurate of myself as a student and I'm starting to worry that they will hold me back from grad schools in the future, so I think that getting some work experience/references within the physics community would help me out a lot.

    Where should I start? Emailing profs if there is anything I can do in terms of helping with first/second year labs etc.. (mind you, this is what the TA's do...)? Any ideas would be great!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2015 #2

    Stephen Tashi

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    You could start by working as a grader.
  4. Apr 18, 2015 #3


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    A good place to start is by talking with your professors, current graduate students and senior students. Tell them you're interested in doing some work in the field and ask if they know of anyone who wants a lab assistant. It doesn't have to be a job with the person you approach either. It's fairly common for professors to know which of their colleagues typically hire students for part-time or summer work. So ask around.

    If your school has an undergraduate physics group/society, they might also be another resource - particularly for talking with senior undergraduates or graduate students. They can tell you where they have gotten work and even help to steer your towards a project that's more in line with your interests and skills.

    Email is another option. I tend to prefer face-to-face meetings (try to do this during office hours) and follow up with email. Cold emails can often be deleted or go unanswered.

    Something else to look into is whether your university offers and undergraduate scholarships or RA support. I got my first physics job after hearing about a summer research award. I approached a few of my professors and they helped me write a proposal and I got the funding. It may be a little late in the academic year for this right now, but look into it and keep it in mind for next year.
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