Tips & Tricks

How can your Research Assistant experience help you land an internship?

Johns Hopkins is America’s first research university, so it’s no surprise that one of the most common undergraduate student jobs is working as a research assistant. You may not want to spend your postgraduate career cooped up in a lab (though maybe you do! This is Hopkins after all), but working as a research assistant will help you acquire many skills that are transferrable to almost every field.

“While obvious, research skills are the most transferrable skill from this type of position, but in a different way from what is used by most students for their lab or course work,” Paul Binkley, the Director for Strategic Career Development at the Career Center, said. “All professional positions include research of some sort form a mundane task like identifying the best flight for a boss to writing a section in a policy white paper submitted to Congress, and everything in between.”

Binkley noted that while research for a lab or class is often very focused, professional research is often more ambiguous and requires more critical independent thinking.

“Students may find that they are asked to research very broad topics without much guidance or understanding of what they need to produce,” Binkley said. “Therefore, developing research skills in a non-academic, professional setting will include the ability to ask good questions around topic, process, and criteria.”

If you’re eager to flex your research skills in an internship or job this summer, be sure to take advantage of all the resources the Career Center has to offer. Look for their tools on Blackboard and browse job/internship postings, sign up for interview opportunities with outside companies, and RSVP for career development events on Handshake.

Looking for a campus research job? Check the Job Search Portal and read these tips from upperclassmen who’ve held campus research positions. If you’re a pre-med, be sure to read what Pre-Professional Advising has to say about how research helps prepare you for medical school.

 

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