I want to kick some cognitive memory ass!
November 23, 2010 6:48 PM Subscribe
I just got hired at a psychology research lab at a very prestigious university. I have no background in academic research and very little academic background in this field. I have an associates degree in humanities, and psychology is a field that interests me greatly. What can I do to not mess this up?
posted by two lights above the sea to Work & Money (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I am a 26 year old, uh, human being who has been working full-time in the heating oil business doing random accounting work and customer service for the last 5 years. I have been going to school part-time at a local community college and recently earned my associates in humanities. Finishing my bachelor's degree has been put on the back burner because holy crap school is expensive (I already have a ton of debt from getting my associates degree), and it's been hard to figure out what I want to do with myself. I have a strong academic background mostly in the hard sciences and creative writing. I've taken two psych courses in my academic career, however it is definitely something I would consider pursuing as a potential career.
The research lab is run by a fairly well-known doctor in the field of psychology. It focuses on computational memory. I was hired to do annotation full-time. Normally, the annotation is done on a part-time basis by undergrads who are interested in the field. The director of the lab has already admitted that he does not see me as a big part of his lab in the future, due to my lack of experience in academic research and psychology.
How the heck do I not mess this up? The job itself is easy. I've done it for 15 hours or so already, and I'm doing well with it. However, I DO want this job to be one in which I can grow and be useful. I'd like this to be a great experience for me to point to down the line, or perhaps one to help me get my potential dream job. How can I earn this doctor's respect so I can eventually be better paid, get benefits (tuition, mostly), and, in general, have a great learning experience. I'm also very interested, now that I've mentioned tuition, in studying at this university in a related field.
I'm pretty set on subject-specific reading material, but if you are experienced in a situation like this, or you have any advice for me, please let me know. I really want to shine here, especially since I feel I've been given a chance to do something a poor, first-generation college kid from the ghetto would never dream of having. I realize I'm being dramatic, but god damn, I want this so badly. How can I rock this situation?