So last Saturday, i was sitting in my living room, watching youtube videos when I got an email without a subject. The email was from the Dean of Science telling me that I had been accepted into this year Summer Research Program. The first thing I did was to call my mum.We screamed for a good two minutes over the phone and I could hear my dad telling us how crazy we were. Research is very important in the field of Science, and I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to participate in one at a young age.Some things that I believe are important when applying for research opportunities as a college student include:
a) Finding a good mentor: You need someone who will sing your praises so high into the sky that you will start asking, ‘Na me be dis?’ Your mentor is very key because most likely than not, that is who you will be working with. Whether you coming up with the research proposal or you are latching on to a professor’s proposal, the teacher has to be someone you can work with. Pick someone who is passionate about what they do, so that you can be passionate about it too. Pick someone that you hopefully like and may have taken a class with. Most importantly, pick someone you can actually stand to be in the same room with, because you will be working long hours together.
b)Selling yourself: I cannot stress how important this skill is in an professional setting. Nobody wants to hire or choose someone who doesn’t know why they are good for the job. When writing your resume or filling out the application, you have to make sure that the reader understands that no one else can do the job better than you can, without sounding like a know it all.
c)Knowing the material: It’s good to find a mentor who is interested in their work, but now, you also have to be interested in their work. You chose this mentor because you believe that you can learn something from the work they are doing. Look up articles, ask questions and genuinely be interested in the research. I know a lot of people apply to do research because it looks good on your resume, but it sucks to work ten weeks on a project that you don’t care about.
d) Inviting God:Nothing happens without the will and guidance of the Lord. We can plan all we want, do everything perfectly, but if God is not involved in your plans, it could shatter.You need to let go, and let God. Make sure to commit all your plans to the Lord. Most importantly, make plans but make room for God in those plans because the ways of the Lord are not our ways.
Philippians 4:13-“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”