“It’s very valuable to experience doing research from the inside"
Steven Marinus applied for the Master Science and Business Management because he suspected he wouldn’t want to be a researcher all of his life. While his Research Internship has consolidated that doing research is indeed not his cup of tea, he still considers the experience on doing research in a lab to have been a valuable experience. “All of us knew that choosing Science and Business Management meant also doing research. If you are open for new experiences and learning many things, it can be very valuable to actually experience doing research from the inside.”
Steven did his Bachelor’s Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University. To find a research project, he asked himself which courses he had enjoyed the most and then started looking for research groups in this field. For the group at the top of his list, he tried contacting students who were doing or had done research in the same lab. That way, he could figure out what the atmosphere in the group was and whether they had experienced much stress. Since their experiences were positive, he approached the lab and this turned out to be an immediate hit. However, he adds: “I know many students for whom that was not the case, but who still had a great time at a different lab.”
If you are open for new experiences and learning many things, it can be very valuable to actually experience doing research from the inside.
While studying often went rather easily for Steven, the reality of doing research turned out to be a little different: it is normal for things to fail. “Doing research means that 90% of the time your experiments fail, while 10% of the time you actually get results. But I’ve learnt that this is quite normal and no big deal; you just look for why it went wrong and how to get it right the next time.”
When looking for a research project, Steven suggests thinking back to the courses you enjoyed the most during you Bachelor’s, as well as using your own and other people’s network. “Talk to teachers of the subjects you found interesting. Ask yourself critically: why do I want to do this and what do I like about it? If you only choose a topic or group because it looks good on your CV, you will face a difficult period.”