One way to enhance your chemistry education (and resume) is to do an undergraduate research project. Most students (and professors) find it to be an exciting and rewarding experience! Professors at MTSU often have an interest in mentoring students. The best way to find out about projects is to talk to professors or other students. Also, watch brief videos of chemistry professors or professors in the College of Basic and Applied Science discussing their research.
Why do it?
- A hands-on approach is a particularly successful way for students to understand chemical theory.
- Gain valuable insight into how research is done.
- Decide what area of chemistry you are interested in most.
- Be a part of the departmental community and interact with other students and faculty.
- It does not matter what project you do, the experience is valuable.
- Start early. One year is essential, two desirable. Several research course options are available (CHEM 2880, 3880, and 4880).
- Pick your advisor carefully. This person could help your career immensely if things go well.
- Avoid the pitfalls. Be professional, dedicated, safety conscious, and take advantage of the opportunity to learn something.
Other Career Preparation Strategies
Besides undergraduate research, cooperative education experience and summer jobs in industry, government labs, other universities can be very beneficial preparation for the "real world." These jobs can also provide financial support for your education and contacts for job opportunities upon graduation.
Other employment contacts can come from professors or ACS meetings (where Employment Clearinghouses are held).
Good communication skills (both written and oral) make it more likely for you to get a lucrative and enjoyable job. Take your language classes and written assignments as chances for communication skills enhancement. Use every opportunity for public speaking to improve your ability to communicate your ideas clearly.
Many scientists have no exposure to or interest in business. But the "bottom line" in industry is economics. Although not specifically suggested by the ACS, a business or economics course would serve you well in preparing for an industrial career.