Category Archives: Tips for Undergrads

How to find STEM Internships!

whether-youre-starting-a-new-job-or-a-new-internship-you-will-probably-end-up-having-to-do-the-dirty-work-first1

Hi everyone!

Not only are internships very important in terms of resume building, but it can be so much more than that! Internships are great places to network with colleagues in your chosen field and to gain a unique perspective on the inner workings of your discipline! However, as great as that may sound, I remember feeling really overwhelmed when searching for internships during my junior year of undergrad.

Well, fear not! Because finding internships is actually quite easy if you know where to look. Of course, I say this with the small disclaimer that these tips are mainly centered around STEM internships in the US, but hopefully these tips can at least lend a hand to anyone looking for a cool experience for the summer.

So, I’m going to separate my tips into separate categories!

Continue reading How to find STEM Internships!

Grad Courses as an Undergrad

An extended version of this tumblr ask

shrug_answer_101_xlargeTowards the end of my undergrad career, I got a little bored with my typical classes and I was in need of some units to qualify for financial aid. So, during a brief morning of possible insanity, I decided to sign up for a grad course. Fortunately, that brief moment of insanity didn’t go horrible wrong because the grad courses I took as an undergrad were probably the most fun out of all the classes that I took during university.

Not only were they fun, but I feel it was also pretty beneficial to my academic career. First,  it was a nice way to minimize the culture shock of transitioning from the learning style needed in an undergrad class to that which is needed in grad classes. Not to mention, it probably also showed initiative when I was applying to internships and grad programs, because it showed admissions faculty that I was willing to try something new and was dedicated to learning topics in my field.

Of course, I can see how intimidating it could be. There are also many questions that are unanswered until you actually take the class such as how different is it from undergrad courses? How much harder will it be? Are the tests worse? What is it like being in a class with a bunch of older grad students? Do they judge you? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Continue reading Grad Courses as an Undergrad

Relieving Test Anxiety

fbf46c36277067a5de185cd33f6ec639Hello, my fellow students. Unfortunately, I greet you during that dreaded time of the year: finals week. And yeah, sure, the long nights of studying are pretty bad, admittedly. But, in my opinion, what can be even worse is that little voice in you head that that starts speaking up right before the final. You know the one. It says horrible things such, “You studied the wrong material,” or even, “I bet you’re going to forget everything you studied the moment you sit down!” Gosh. What a jerk that voice is. 😦

Anyway, I feel that a lot of the time, it’s this test anxiety that makes finals week so nerve-wracking, scary and stressful! However, over my test-taking years I’ve found a few techniques that have helped me reduce my anxiety and go into the exam room feeling focused, awake and confident! Listed below are my techniques in hopes that this helps you all have the best finals week ever! Kick those test’s butt! ❤

Continue reading Relieving Test Anxiety

Surviving Lab Classes

Extended version of this! Oh and sorta this too!

daa412c3f51cf7c76447dfb4fc8a2480As a STEM major, there is a high probability that you’re going to have at least one class that has some sort of lab component. Whether it’s a three to four hour lab once a week or in the worst case (read: as a chemistry major), two four-hour labs a week. 😦

Of course, the difference between lab-based courses and lecture-based courses is that there is a significant portion of your grade is no longer based on exams and problem sets. Rather, a large chunk is now based on three other things: (1) how accurately and efficiently can you do your experiment in the allotted time, (2) how well you can remember your lab manual for quizzes, as well as (3) how well you can write it up (read: defend your results) on your lab report.

Unfortunately, for those that are starting on their first serious lab courses, it’s always these components that can sometimes be the trickiest to master. So, having survived quite a few lab courses as a chemistry major, here is my take on how I survived my lab courses in hopes that it helps you too! 🙂

Good luck & science away!

Continue reading Surviving Lab Classes

How to Succeed in Hard Science Classes

ScienceClasses_CCBlog

So I think at least once in everyone’s college career there is that one class that just becomes the bane of your existence. Either the professor cannot explain the subject well enough, or the material itself is practically in another language (Read: Physics). For me as a chemistry major, these classes were E&M Physics, Chemical Thermodynamics, Multivariable Calculus and the NMR Spectroscopy part of Organic Chemistry. Evil! Evil! Evil!

Yet, somehow I passed! Not always with a perfect A, but close enough that my GPA survived! 🙂

How did I manage, you ask! Here are my tips and tricks on surviving those evil, difficult classes!

Continue reading How to Succeed in Hard Science Classes

An Awesome Opportunity: NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)

Due to a change in funding, the website and contact information for SARP has changed. The dates, deadlines and links have all been updated within the post to reflect the new information for the SARP 2019 application cycle. Information is accurate as of Jan 2, 2019

3

Two summers ago, I was granted a fabulous opportunity to be a part of the NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP). This program is directed at rising senior undergrads in STEM majors with the aim of allowing students to get hands-on experience in scientific research! And when I say “hands-on,” I mean hands on.

Continue reading An Awesome Opportunity: NASA Student Airborne Research Program (SARP)

How to Read (Science) Journal Articles

research

I remember one of the most daunting tasks I had as an undergrad researcher was reading science articles. I could just not sit down and read one, much less understand what they were trying to tell me! It’s like it went in one ear and out the other… or the sight-seeing equivalent I guess.

Well, eventually, after many, many, many journal articles after, I can actually read and (sort of) understand what they’re trying to tell me! Turns out I just needed to find own way of reading them. Since I’m a visual person, that meant colored pens or going through various annotating apps on my tablet…

So, in hopes this helps at least one researcher in the very beginnings of their career, I shall now present my own personal method of annotating and understanding journal articles!

Continue reading How to Read (Science) Journal Articles

Study Tips for Headache Sufferers

Image from Pinterest

So according to my doctor, a side affect from being an awesome “type A” personality that gets shit done is apparently getting frequent headaches that make doing work so much more difficult. As if my workload wasn’t enough to deal with, I apparently have to get headaches on top of all that too. Just my luck. (I mean, at least I don’t have to deal with migraines, because that’s a whole other ball game. Though I was warned that may be in my future… D:)

So how do I still keep the ball rolling when my temples feel like they’re being pounded by a sledgehammer? Well, I let me show you the tips that work for me!

Continue reading Study Tips for Headache Sufferers