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Gap Years and Contacting Professors



I'm a third year undergrad, and I just started exploring graduate programs. I was toying with the idea of taking a year to work in industry, but I can't find anything on how that works (if you apply and defer, or if you just apply a year later), and I've heard conflicting opinions on gap years (some people in career advising say that the longer you're out of school, the worse your chances in STEM fields). I'm also at the point where I want to ask professors I'm interested in working with if they have vacancies, but I don't know if it's too soon, and if it's recommended or at all helpful, especially for wet lab work. I was hoping I could find some wisdom from people who've been through this already!

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My best advice, go talk to your professors. Build relationships with them because they have all the connections and can give you the best advice. In addition, they have seen your work and know what you are capable of. My acceptance in a Masters and now PhD is all because of two professors I worked with for the last two years of undergrad and basically followed around. My mentors have each given me a job over the summer and now I'm Ta-ing for one of them.  They have both provided me with more advice and guidance than any other source including future professors I will be working with. 

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