Why You Should Consider Research Next Summer
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why You Should Consider Research Next Summer

Some insight from someone who’s never thought of doing research before either.

231
Why You Should Consider Research Next Summer
Gabrielle Lynn Utomo

I know what you’re wondering: no, I’m not a science major.

I’m actually an architecture major, which, in Penn, isn’t even in the School of Engineering. The architecture program at Penn is very much design-intensive, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a research opportunity in a project titled “Design and fabrication of ultra-lightweight structural systems.” I was initially drawn to this project because I believe developing a strong but lightweight infrastructure is key to building safe houses in earthquake-prone countries, namely my home country Indonesia.

Even though the whole program spans 10 weeks, two short weeks in, I’ve already had some pretty incredible experiences. I’ve been trusted with the responsibility of trimming tiny intricate bits and piecing together an elaborate 400some-piece model which will eventually rise to a massive height of over three feet tall, and that’s only the beginning of it!

Obviously, helping to move research in the field one step further is the ultimate motivation for joining a research project, but here are several others that I think are noteworthy.

1. The faculty members are really cool

This is admittedly the best part about my research experience. Being able to work hand-in-hand with experts in the field is really inspiring, especially when these experts are teachers who love sharing knowledge. Everyone I’ve met has been very approachable, warmly sharing their experience in academics and in life. One of my favorite parts of my day is sitting together with the whole lab for lunch and talking about where we each come from, or how our weekend went, or the most random topics like how terrible domestic flights are.

2. Insight into the research world

Seeing the research process from up close opens up a perspective that I’d never had before and helped me consider research as a future career path. Truth be told, I didn’t even know that research in the field of architecture was a thing before this experience. Although I may or may not continue down this path in the future, it certainly helps to know what this particular career demands and whether or not those demands line with my interests.

3. Learning skills that are relevant to class

As an architecture major working on an architecture research project, it’s no surprise that I’m gaining a lot of skills fast. Model-making is training me to think about how to fabricate an idea into something palpable that an audience can understand. I will also working with a 3D-software, Rhino, that I would have to learn next semester in my studio class. By getting a head start, I will have an advantage in class. On top of that, I have a beautiful piece of work to add to my portfolio.

4. And also skills that are not-so relevant to class

Like any job, research has taught me soft skills like how to address my boss and how to manage my time. It even forced me to learn how to meal-prep (which is amazing by the way). Most valuable of all is how research taught me to listen and ask questions. When you’re working in an environment where people are at the frontlines of technology and are continuing to push it, it’s only natural that the conversations you hear make no sense to you. But like I said, these frontliners are enthusiasts who take joy in answering questions, even the simplest ones. Research nurtures my inquisitive nature and I’ve, for example, learnt more about concrete in the past two days than I have in all the rest of my concrete-treading life.

Of course, I only scratched the surface to my own experience, and everyone’s experiences are different. But I can assure you that if you do try research, you’ll have so much to take away.

(If these reasons are not enough to motivate you to at least give research a second thought, check back with me in a week and I’ll send you a selfie with my completed model!)

The Lab that I am working with is Polyhedral Structures Lab. PSL focuses on bridging architecture and structural design to push the boundaries of research in architectural technology. Check out what they do at https://psl.design.upenn.edu.

PURM, or Penn Undergraduate Research Mentorship, is an annual program that supports freshman and sophomore undergraduate students in summer research collaborations with faculty. Here’s their website for the current Summer 2018 enrollment: https://www.curf.upenn.edu/content/penn-undergraduate-research-mentoring-program.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Essential Items Men Can't Live Without

Here is everything that you need to know about the essential items men can't live without.

8664

Men get the stereotype of being simple when it comes to what they need in life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

What Your Car's Color Says About Your Personality

Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

148734

When it comes to car shopping you likely have certain preferences, including what color it should be. Your color choice speaks volumes. It doesn't just emit an image for the car, it also says something about your style and personality! It's a form of self-expression. Are you confident? Are you sophisticated? Are you easy-going? Are you outgoing? Are you practical? As you're reviewing car sites for your next car purchase, what color will you opt for? Find out what certain color choices says about you!

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

30 Songs On My Back-To-School Playlist For Walks To And From Class

Headed back to in-person classes means you need a pretty banging playlist to power you through those walks to class.

118056
Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

I don't know about you, but I start each day off with a one-mile walk to class. I have to have good tunes flowing through my ears during those 20 minutes, not to mention the walks between classes and the walks home. So, here is my 30 song playlist to get me through this almost unfamiliar concept we call walking to class.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Be Kind to Yourself: 8 Mental Health Tips to Try

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

66748

One way you can improve your quality of life is to take care of your mental health. As a result, you'll feel less depressed and be able to enjoy spending time with friends and family more often. These mental health tips might be just what you need to forget about your problems.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Should You Own An SUV If You Live In A Snowy state?

There are many reasons to own an SUV. If you live in a cold state or a rural area, you will see that owning an SUV is very important.

55403

The gas and oil prices are too high to run in a smaller vehicle. You are better off with an SUV for hauling cargo and driving larger loads around the town. In addition, owning an SUV is more comfortable and safe than driving a smaller vehicle.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments