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cartwheel galaxy

Being involved in lab way before starting phd?

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so I've received the offer from one of my dream department (not from grad school yet.) My advisor suggested me to attend the weekly lab meeting, and some other labmates started to ask me questions about their work. (since I've done similar things before) My biggest issue is that I feel a lot of pressure: if I don't meet their expectations about my ability to do things reflected in my application, will my offer be influenced? Also I feel it's too early for them to involve me in the lab. (still half a year away! And I have to do my own heavy coursework too.) They also asked me if I received the offer yet. I haven't because it's only March. Any suggestions about these?

Edited by cartwheel galaxy

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Hey- think of it this way. This is the same process you'd have to start going through as a graduate student. Treat it as fun- don't treat it as something conditional for your future. Becoming more involved in the lab environment is really rewarding, and as long as you put in the effort, they'll see it, and you'll be fine. No one is "up to par" from the moment you start. It's reality. But you only reach an operational status by plunging yourself in, making mistakes, being wrong, learning, and improving. It's research.

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On 2016/3/7 at 9:09 PM, katpillow said:

Hey- think of it this way. This is the same process you'd have to start going through as a graduate student. Treat it as fun- don't treat it as something conditional for your future. Becoming more involved in the lab environment is really rewarding, and as long as you put in the effort, they'll see it, and you'll be fine. No one is "up to par" from the moment you start. It's reality. But you only reach an operational status by plunging yourself in, making mistakes, being wrong, learning, and improving. It's research.

Oh I just saw this! Exactly I feel I'm more involved and less stressful, like you said.Thanks!

And good luck for all your applications! 

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23 hours ago, cartwheel galaxy said:

Oh I just saw this! Exactly I feel I'm more involved and less stressful, like you said.Thanks!

And good luck for all your applications! 

Glad to hear it. Thanks!

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I think its a very good idea. There's really no way to lose. Either you get in and are part of their lab and are already getting along with everyone and integrated, or you get in somewhere else and you have made friendships with people in the field already. You'll see them again at conferences at the very least, and if you keep in contact they can be great professional contacts or... friends. :D

 

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