http://cmu.edu

Carnegie Mellon University

Undergraduate Research Assistant

June 2021 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Great experience to understand what research is like

What I wish was different

Advice

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College Teaching Assistant

July 2021 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Being a TA was an amazing experience! I got to interact with many students and learned a lot about the course content in the process of teaching labs, recitations, and running office hours.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Resident Assistant

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Really enjoyed getting to know the students I worked alongside. Decent amount of down time to work on personal projects. Not very difficult work but fulfilling, especially scheduling and pulling off fun events for the kids.

What I wish was different

Wish the hours weren't 24/7 on call basically. Traveling blocks didn't work very often but its okay, I survived :)

Advice

Really take the time to get to know your RA partner as well as the kids you'll be looking over. If you are able to figure out a schedule in the beginning, it will make life much easier on both parties
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SURF

June - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I was able to pursue something I wanted and still get paid for it.

What I wish was different

I wish it was possible to earn while working this job.

Advice

Manage your time wisely and meet with your professor often.
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Economic Research Assistant

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Learned a lot and did a lot

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask your professor if you're interested in research
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Computational Finance Research Intern

June - July 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Worked in team, had close contact with a professor (William Hrusa), had a lot of freedom and flexibility with the direction of our project.

What I wish was different

Pay was quite low

Advice

Come in with a few ideas for a research project, otherwise the first few weeks can be spent floundering.
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Precollege Teaching Assistant

July - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

It was great to work with high school students interested in the field of architecture, with no prior experience. It was amazing to see how much goes into the learning process and revisiting the base principles that are pushed to the back of your head when you are further along in the professional program.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Undergraduate Research Assistant

May - July 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I liked that I could design my own working schedule.

What I wish was different

I wish I had a more hands-on role in the research

Advice

If you are doing research for the first time try to take the initiative to get as involved as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions
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Assistant Researcher

January 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I had a lot of communication with the professor, and ideas were interesting.

What I wish was different

I was given more challenging work.

Advice

I would make sure the professor better knows your expectations.
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Research Assistant

June - July 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

The applications of concepts

What I wish was different

More challenging problems

Advice

Be open to new ideas
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Undergraduate Researcher

July 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I enjoyed the freedom I had to pursue a project of my making and design within the goals of the lab group.

What I wish was different

I wish I had been able to spend less time exploring the research space and getting ahead on a specific research goal.

Advice

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Research Intern

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I liked the independence to work at my own pace and having occasional opportunities to check in with my research professor.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Software Engineer

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Very flexible work hours and I got to work on a project that was important to me.

What I wish was different

Advice

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College crew

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

The people most of the time

What I wish was different

Wish I got more applicable experience

Advice

It was alright but loving furniture for a whole summer was not the best.
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Undergraduate Researcher

May - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

It was easy to find a professor to research with through the physics department.

What I wish was different

I wish the pay could be a little better than $9.50 an hour.

Advice

Take the opportunity to do research!
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TEF Technician

September 2018 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Moving between rooms keeps you on your feet and introduces a new way of solving problems with each new day.

What I wish was different

A lot of tasks involve redundant re-checking of rooms to find problems before they are an issue, but repeated checking can get boring after a while. Swapping tasks regularly would help keep things fresh.

Advice

Get some shoes for walking! This job requires a lot of movement around campus and you will be on your feet for quite a while.
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Summer Resident Assistant

June - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I gained a lot of interpersonal skills and communication skills.

What I wish was different

At certain times the job was very demanding and required you to work long and odd hours.

Advice

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Executive Communications and Media Relations Intern

May 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Ask people on your team for advice about your career! They're a wealth of knowledge and even if their career paths differ from what you want to do, they can still offer relevant tips or even just information to help you figure out what you don't want to do - it's all valuable information.
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Resident Advisor

June - August 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

Other team members and superiors were friendly

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Bond with other team members, especially those in the same house
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

April - October 2019 • Pittsburgh, PA

What I liked

I liked that the position was very flexible in terms of when I could work and what work I did. I worked with the research team and they allowed me to work on things that I was interested in and were very attentive to my needs. They wanted to make sure I learned a lot throughout the summer, and I did!

What I wish was different

I, personally, realized that research is not for me. It was a great experience, but I would not be interested in continuing on in a field that would be similar just because it didn't interest me. This is still very useful for me because I did not know if I liked research work before I started working for my lab. It is good to have this piece of mind moving forward.

Advice

I would advise that an upcoming research assistant be very patient with tedious work. In my experience doing research, I found that sometimes a single project can take months to build and then more time to execute, so it is important that you like working on big long-term projects.
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