I have been working in the lab for 2 years now and it is one of the best experiences I have had since I began college. I have learned more about my area of study than would have been possible in just the classroom. It has changed my plans for the future. I could not reccommend a more rewarding and beneficial experience than getting involved in research.
I got involved in research by speaking with Dr. Bruce, who had been my professor for several classes. I was interested in the research she was involved in. I hoped to gain a better understanding of the work done studying animal behavior and gaining significant knowlege about that work by doing research in a lab.
I have gained so much from this experience. I have learned how to use the appropriate langauge used when studying animal behavior and how to speak about these topics. I have presented research at conferences to students and professors in my field. I have further developed my conceptual thinking and problem solving skills. I know how to keep data, take care of animals, and develop procedures. Most importantly, I get to work with a team of people passionate about what we do.
Doing research will set me apart from the other candidates for jobs or graduate school. Most schools do not offer such amazing research opportunities as UNCW. Candidates for these positions might have all the same characteristics I do, from GPA to classwork, but what most will not have is the extensive research background I do, and that will set me apart. I have already learned things that are useful in these positions that other people may not have had the chance to. Getting involved in research at UNCW is in invaluable experience.