https://www.whitman.edu/

Whitman College

Curatorial Intern

December 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

The opportunity to work with artists and learn to put shows together, of course! I had a lot of flexibility in when/how I worked, and the support of a great team at the college.

What I wish was different

We got off to a slow start my first few months, so most of my real work has been during quarantine. It would be good to have our physical shows more visitable, but what are you gonna do, you know? I am proud of how far we’ve come since the start of the year, with the website and each of our shows.

Advice

Start slow and try things out! Four shows was good for our first semester, especially factoring in the need to build the gallery’s website from scratch. The expectation with this job is that the curator is relatively new to the curation side of things at the start, so focus more on learning the skills you need and asking questions than trying to have everything down right away.
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Microbiology Research Intern

May - August 2021 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed the experience of working in a microbiology lab, and learning how to follow and create SOPs while working independently.

What I wish was different

I wished I had more guidance during my research experience, and could have received detailed instructions on how to undertake more complex experiments.

Advice

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Summer Research Student

May - September 2021 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I gained valuable research skills and developed a closer relationship with my professor.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Biology Laboratory Assistant

June 2020 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I liked being able to develop my thesis and perform data collection for research.

What I wish was different

Working on campus would’ve been nice compared to off campus.

Advice

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Sociology Research Assistant

May 2020 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

Working with a diverse team of researchers and academics.

What I wish was different

I wish we could've conducted in-person work as the job was remote due to COVID-19.

Advice

When working from home, find ways to set clear boundaries with family members/roommates as to when you're available and when you're at work.
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Summer Research Intern

May - September 2020 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

The flexibility and creativity of the work.

What I wish was different

I wish that there were more employees to collaborate with rather than it being a one on one kind of experience, although that also offered it's benefits.

Advice

You don't necessarily need to know a lot of nitty-gritty details about sustainability topics to excel.
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Summer Admission Intern

May - August 2020 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I loved the opportunity to interact with prospective students as they were going through the college process, as well as being able to get to know my fellow Summer Admission Interns better and make connections within the Admission Office.

What I wish was different

Although the internship was entirely virtual because of COVID-19, I appreciated the experience, as I think it provided me with a better handle on virtual meeting tools and technology. It was nice to feel like I mastered those things before the school year started again and everything was also virtual.

Advice

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Research Assitant

May 2020 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

Flexibility of schedule. Common understanding. Challenging.

What I wish was different

More technical duties than learning duties.

Advice

Research is fascinating at Whitman and you should take an advantage of it. Professors are helpful and flexible!
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

May 2018 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I liked the independence I had after learning basic techniques to run my experiments. I could work at my own pace, and it was a great place to learn what skills are needed in scientific research and helped me develop techniques as well as speaking and writing skills.

What I wish was different

I wish I did a better job of keeping a lab notebook because there are times where I have to refer to past experiences and some information is missing because I didn't write it down

Advice

The more time you put in, the more you get out of it. Ask questions when you need to.
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

May - July 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I had the opportunity to learn and use R, which was extremely fun. I cleaned forest service and school district data and then mapped it using leaflet in R. It always felt like a puzzle--I needed to write just the right code to get the map I wanted!

What I wish was different

Advice

Talk to your professors and see if they need any research help! I learned an immense amount from Professor Mueller.
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Student Researcher

June - August 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I really enjoyed being able to work in a team and problem solve along side my peers. The feeling of having a common goal and work ethic was very satisfying. Due to the nature of the research, I learned a lot about neurobiology and the physiological pathways regarding eye movement and sight. I also learned more about experiment design and different ways to critically analyze data.

What I wish was different

A summer in Walla Walla is well spent, however it can be lonely sometimes. I wish that I had gotten out into the community more and enjoyed activities I don't have time for during the school year.

Advice

Do one new thing each week. Whether it's hiking a new trail, meeting new people, volunteering, learning a new hobby.... get creative :)!
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Admissions Intern

May - August 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I really enjoyed getting to know new people and see an entirely different side of Whitman. Talking to prospective students allowed me to talk about my own experiences on campus and reflect on my time here.

What I wish was different

Wish it was not so hot mid-summer when I was out giving tours

Advice

Take this time to appreciate what Whitman as a super cool environment that enables us to engage with a variety of different things. Also buy sunscreen!!
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research assistant

May - September 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I liked the exposure to the material and the guidance of the professor to gain an alternative perspective and the freedom to make mistakes intellectually and develop more effective systems for processing the material for future use. I liked the exposure to academic research, I feel it helped me develop skills for future research projects, and a better awareness of what works and what doesn't.

What I wish was different

I wish I had been able to spend more time studying material than struggling to utilize technology for converting the material to a publishable state. I wish I had been introduced to a network of researchers who would have been able to share what worked well and what didn't, rather than having to figure it out on my own. I did eventually, but it was very time consuming and more stressful than it needed to be.

Advice

I would emphasize being patient with yourself. Developing a proficient process is part of the point, but can feel frustrating and isolating. Network for methodological resources. You may be learning about yourself as much or more than the material or specific process itself. This is an opportunity to gain a perspective on how best to approach the structure of future research. Imagine how you would want assistants to contribute to your project if you were the professor.
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Fly in leader

June - July 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed being in a work environment that prioritized a positive attitude

What I wish was different

More organization and training for new leaders

Advice

Give the fly in job your everything while you're doing it even though it's exhausting. It's worth it and it makes a difference to so many students
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Research Assistant

June - September 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I liked getting to experience what it's like to do research for a professor - especially doing politics research regarding something I'm already very interested in.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had gotten to meet with my professor more and have more consistent checkins and a more horizontal relationship in terms of work allocation, discussions about the research, and input from me to my professor. Additionally, I wish I would've been more disciplined with my time and stuck to a stricter schedule.

Advice

Try to get into a routine! Balancing your days out with certain goals of what to get done and breaking up your time is very helpful.
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Geology Assistant

May 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed getting experience in the lab doing research on a project I knew would make an impact.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had more time to be able to get out in the field and go outside to collect samples or be able to work with equipment.

Advice

I would advise others to really appreciate the little things you learn about lab work and envision what a career in geology might look like.
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Student Researcher

June - August 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

The bio research I was doing was real. It felt great to know that my work was going towards something greater than just fulfilling my thesis.

What I wish was different

I didn’t feel well prepared for the role. Primarily due to my background in ecology, I felt unprepared to tackle research in neurobiology.

Advice

As a student researcher, speak up when you need help.
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Undergraduate Researcher

June 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

The research. It was a great opportunity to learn and get paid as an undergrad.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Student Researcher

June - August 2019 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

I liked the freedom of doing research at an undergraduate institution. I had more control over the direction of my research. It was also a positive and supportive work environment where i learned a lot.

What I wish was different

I wish I had a longer time period to conduct my research. I felt like I had to cut things off earlier than I would've liked.

Advice

Be curious about everything. Talk to other researchers about what their field is and what kind of techniques they're using. There is always more to learn and being familiar with a broad scope of techniques and research styles can only help.
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Summer Research Intern

June 2018 • Walla Walla, WA

What I liked

The flexibility; the teamwork aspect; the practical application of theories I have learned

What I wish was different

Organization of time and tasks to be completed

Advice

Don't expect research to be straightforward and clearcut. Flexibility and adaptability are necessary
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