Students discuss advantages and challenges of undergraduate research

Paige Bennett

Participating in undergraduate research opportunities presents both benefits and difficulties, according to students working in research laboratories.

Senior biology major Ya’el Courtney said balancing her research along with her other responsibilities can be challenging.

“Right now, I’m actually working about 20 hours a week in this lab,” Courtney said. “And then I also have a full course load, and I also have another job at a restaurant, so just making sure I can devote enough time to it because I really like it and I want to do it justice and do a good job.”

Time management has been a challenge for senior biology major Tara Rogers as well. Some of her experiments take place over long periods of time, which makes them hard to fit into her schedule, Rogers said.

Though doing research in undergrad is difficult, Rogers believes it has helped her gain valuable experiences and develop skills that will be useful in her future career.

“It’s made me a better writer,” Rogers said. “It’s given me a lot of time management skills. It’s taught me so many skills that will be useful as I actually go into my profession as a pharmacist.”  

Courtney also said she has benefitted from the research she has done in undergrad. By getting started her freshman year, Courtney was able to figure out her interests and find research opportunities that aligned with them.

“I got involved freshman year and I realized I didn’t like what those labs did at all,” Courtney said. “But that was really good because now I’m already in a lab that I like. I’m not even in grad school yet.”

Paige Bennett is the Sciences reporter. Contact her at [email protected].