5 Reasons You Should Do Undergraduate Research
Undergrad research is the leg up you never knew you needed.
Many universities in Canada give graduate students the opportunity to do research, but did you know that there are some universities that give undergraduate students the chance to create their own projects, work in labs, study alongside professors, and gain invaluable skills through undergraduate research? Here are a few reasons why you should consider doing undergraduate research.
1. You get to dive into something you're passionate about
We all work better and have more fun when we're doing something we enjoy. Undergraduate research allows you to find a topic that you're passionate about and spend time getting to know it. Do you like to play video games? Why not study the impact of violence in video games on their players? Is reading your thing? How about dissecting the deeper meaning of your favourite novel? You could even discover the next major medical breakthrough! It all starts with research.
2. You get to develop a relationship with your professors
Your professors are experts in what they study. They're also successful, passionate people who are interested in teaching and mentoring you to get you closer to your own goals. Getting the chance to learn from them (and even contribute to their research projects) in a one-on-one setting is worth it for the experience alone! But, they also become great references for the future. Which leads us to point three...
3. Undergraduate research will make you stand out on resumés and applications
Not many students get the chance to do research as an undergraduate student. These experiences will wow potential employers, graduate schools, and other programs during the application process. And remember those close bonds that you formed with your professor through your research together? They mean your professors will be more than willing to help get you to where you want to go. Hello, reference letters!
4. You get to develop skills that will help outside of the research itself
Why will your future employers and schools be impressed by the fact that you did research during your undergraduate degree? Because doing so builds skills! Research helps you to think critically, collaborate with others, use creativity, and communicate your ideas and findings. These qualities are essential for success in any industry.
5. Finally, you'll have the chance to travel and publish papers
Research needs to be shared, which means that students will often get the chance to travel to present their research findings at conferences, and/or will have their names published in journals and publications alongside their research papers. Aside from being impressive and helping you to develop those important communication skills, these experiences are just plain cool. There's nothing like flying across the country (or sometimes, the world!) to stand in front of a room full of people as an expert on something you're passionate about, especially when you're still an undergraduate student!
The University of Alberta's Augustana Campus is just one of the places where you can do research as an undergraduate. Visit https://www.ualberta.ca/augustana to learn more.