For science majors, including biology, psychology, zoology and many others in L&S, research jobs are an excellent, and potentially necessary, addition to a resume.
According to Lucas Moyer-Horner from the Institute for Biology Education, research shows an interest and engagement in science that a college transcript can’t. Graduate and professional schools, as well as employers, want to see that you have relevant experience outside of class.
“If you are pursuing a career in science, any research experience is better than none at all, even if the work isn’t particularly close to what you will end up doing,” he said.
Nada Wigand, the undergraduate advisor for zoology, said research diversifies your college experience, gives you the opportunity to work with and get to know researchers, and is essential in helping you determine if science is a good career choice for you.
University labs are a convenient way for undergraduates to get experience and develop skills, since they’re on campus and may even involve working with a professor you’ve had for class.
Labs often list undergraduate research assistant positions on the UW Student Job Center. You can also search through researchers on the Wisconsin Discovery Portal. These labs may not have open opportunities, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if you find something you’re really interested in.
Don’t forget to check with that professor whose class you actually enjoyed going to, despite having to wake up. He or she might be able to use you.
“Science, like most careers, rewards those who work hard, work smart, and persevere,” explained Moyer-Horner.