For all of those students looking to get involved in research, the Biomedical Research and Opportunities Society is there to help! In one of their many workshops, Dr. Manu Platt gave a lecture to students on how to sell yourself to a research professor as well as how to handle yourself once accepted. It’s important to remember that professors have very little free time between teaching, research, and other services to the department. Given that fact, most professors are looking for intelligent, independent, and motivated individuals.
The first step is to contact the professor, usually via email. It is important to write a very specific email that shows the professor that you have explored their research and are interested in what you read. A blanket email simply stating your interest will probably be ignored! If the email does not work, you can try to contact the graduate students or postdocs directly, or to meet the professor in person. If there’s an interview, make sure you sell yourself in such a way that they would be foolish not to accept you.
Once you are in, stay focused. As a student, you are here to learn skills that can not be taught in a classroom, establish a professional relationship, and gain experience. The professor is looking for a future star in the research field. An ideal student would be someone who is always on time, completes work by the deadline, and keeps their promises. If you follow these steps and are truly interested in your work, you are on your way to success.