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Value of Undergrad research

  1. Apr 9, 2006 #1
    I have been given the opportunity to do research this summer. However, since I am an undergraduate, I will not be paid. I'm not going to be starving, so I don't NEED to work, but it's nice to have money.

    So, if I do research this summer (and possibly the rest of the time I am an undergrad), will this look good when I apply to grad school?

    I am an EE, btw. I am looking to go to grad school for a masters degree, but I will most likely go to industry after.

    Will research look good on my application to graduate schools, or should I just work my normal job? How good does it look?


    BTW - the research is in the field (or similar) that I'd like to persue on the graduate level.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2006 #2
    Research always looks good on a grad school application.
  4. Apr 15, 2006 #3
    Yes. There should be no reason for it to not be a good thing.

    Assuming you're going to be doing research in your field of study, yes it will look good. It shows that you have gotten involved in something you study at school, therefore gaining experience in that particular field of study.

    This is different opposed to just having a job at 7-11, which shows no connection whatsoever to what you do in school. (Unless you calculate the heat transfer within hotdogs in your free time)

    Another positive thing about it being not-paid is that you are volunteering to sacrifice your time to learn more about what you do. That should be a positive thing to anyone reading your application because you're not solely doing it to get paid. You are doing it because you want to learn more (otherwise you could just simply say blah and reject the offer).

    There's nothing working against you here. If you can do it, I'd take up the offer unless you can get a better research position elsewhere.

    The point is that there is absolutely no reason why it should work against you, it wouldn't make any sense. (Unless you failed a class or something and decided to do this instead of making it up during the summer, heh)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2006
  5. Apr 15, 2006 #4
    Research is always helpful and i think it doesn't matter in which field you do..but important fact is that you should get published i.e. you should be able to achieve something out of that.....that will show recruiters ,the guy has guts and can take challenges..

    And i think you should do Research in subjects you have studied,not pick up completely alien..like the developed curisioties while you did a particular course should act as driving force..
  6. Apr 15, 2006 #5
    for an undergrad just participating in research is enough merit. an research assistants contribution is rarely big enough to warrant anything besides maybe the position of the last name on the paper.
  7. Apr 16, 2006 #6


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    Go for the research. It can provide a valuable bridge between theory and hands on practice. The research I did as an undergrad was a plus in getting into grad school and with job interviews I otherwise might not have gotten. The only scary part was having to give a presentation on the research in a follow up job interview! Plus, my name was the last one on the paper, which was a great feeling of pride years later when I found the paper in the university library. I still have a copy of the paper somewhere.....
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