As a Student Ambassador, I come into contact with a lot of prospective students. One of the most popular questions I get from parents and students alike revolves around the opportunity to research.
Before I give advice regarding research, I must comment that I feel as a student, research is a great way to integrate what I learn in class and apply it to real life situations. Research allows me to work on projects hands-on and engage in a completely new type of learning experience. Also research makes students and researchers think out of the box and develop their problem solving skills.
That being said, I recommend research to all Stony Brook students, especially if they have a diverse area of interest. In addition, a lot of questions I get is: Where, When, and How can I find research? The where is the easy part to answer! Wherever you have interest. Whether it be marine science, business, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, etc … Stony Brook has faculty and staff who is probably in that field of interest who could definitely help you out!
In regards to how… that is a bit more difficult. Many people advise to email faculty and inquire about available research positions. My strategy is a little bit different; I advise that you go up to the professor and show interest. If you show the professor that you have genuine interest and that you really want to learn as much as you can (as well indicate you have read and are familiar with their prior research and as always stay humble), they is no reason why a faculty member won’t try to see what he or she can do. Worst comes to worst, they will tell you that positions are full and there is no space- but hey at least they say it to your face. But odds are, if you really impress them and show genuine curiosity, they will make space for you. After all that’s whats researchers look for the most (not necessarily grades or prior research)-actual interest.
Also, in terms of when, honestly whenever you feel you can donate enough time and energy to research. And honestly, the sooner, the better. Anyways, I will wrap it up. If you guys have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment. I will be more than happy to respond and answer other questions. In the meanwhile feel free to browse these links.
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