I’ve had a chance to have an informational interview with a graduate student in the same lab. He is working on a different project from mine, but since I’ve helped his experiment a few times and we already get to know each other a little bit, I think I could have an opportunity with him.
He told me about the research life of graduate students: how it is like to work as a half-student half-professional graduate researcher, his research topics and interests and so on. What was the most impressive to me was how he spent his time in undergraduate before joining Michigan as a graduate student. Though he is now really into research of aerospace engineering, his undergraduate was not like this. What he was involved was more like engineering project rather than research. Also he had a strong interest in business and entrepreneurship, and actually he was better at these stuff than engineering. He said, “though I was quite interested in both engineering and business, I chose engineering as a major because I can learn business by myself later, but it would be harder for engineering. Also, I knew I’m spending quite a lot in research in grad school, I would rather liked to do non-research projects in undergraduate.”
His way might be opposite to me. I chose engineering because I liked it and also it is an only thing I’m good at. I am starting research in undergraduate, because I think research skills and experiences are essential for the future Ph.D. study. I don’t think my way was incorrect, but now it seems that the way like him could be more interesting and could potentially give a person depth and broadness. Luckily, I have two more years in undergraduate, so I may try various things like him.