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Should I join this lab?

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Right now, I'm doing research in the field of microbiology. I've been doing this over two years now, but recently, an opportunity came up where I might be able to join a different lab.

 

the website: http://bme.sunysb.edu/people/lstrey/home.htm

 

I'm happy where I am now, but I've been doing it for a while, and I don't really have many experiences in other fields of biology. I think the work that the cognition lab is doing is very interesting, and completely novel for me. I'm going to have a meeting with the professor on Monday or tuesday.

 

I would feel bad leaving my old lab, because I know the people really well. But, this would be the best time for me to switch. Also, I think getting different lab experience would be good for my general knowledge and for med/grad school.

 

Now... how to break it to my current prof (assuming I'm offered the position).

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Right now, I'm doing research in the field of microbiology. I've been doing this over two years now, but recently, an opportunity came up where I might be able to join a different lab.

 

the website: http://bme.sunysb.edu/people/lstrey/home.htm

 

I'm happy where I am now, but I've been doing it for a while, and I don't really have many experiences in other fields of biology. I think the work that the cognition lab is doing is very interesting, and completely novel for me. I'm going to have a meeting with the professor on Monday or tuesday.

 

I would feel bad leaving my old lab, because I know the people really well. But, this would be the best time for me to switch. Also, I think getting different lab experience would be good for my general knowledge and for med/grad school.

 

Now... how to break it to my current prof (assuming I'm offered the position).

 

Well I don’t really want to give you advice because I cant know for sure your environment or really how you look at things, that being said I will try to offer in a different view maybe.

 

I think what you need to look at is where you want to go I guess. I mean you say its a lab that studies cognition, which I am assuming is from a biological perspective. Is that something you would want to do for say a period of time, over a year or such? IN your free time do your interests take you to such? For me personally that’s the killer, as in I cant stand economics and personally it shows in my grades for such. As in your desire to reach med school or any particular aspect of it, such as a clinical laboratory scientist or what not, I have no clue also, but I imagine diversification of study/knowledge could not hurt in that regard. I think the real thing to me would be going for it, then finding out say six months later for example that you just are not happy with the results of such a decision, but in that I guess you cant really know until you do such for the most part.

 

Personally as someone with diverse interests I find it hard to stay on track, as in environmental protection is where I would like to be employed, but so much else I would also like to work with, I guess it comes down to finding some realistic medium in which to balance it all, if that’s anything close to any problems you may have in regards to decision making at all.

 

Well anyways, I hope this helps.

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When I applied to graduate school, my prior lab experience really helped me and was in a completely unrelated field. I had experience in entomology as a summer technician and ended up in a "biodmedical sciences" graduate program (which led to a pharmacology/toxicology degree). Interestingly, I was in the same SUNY system as Stonybrook (SUNY Buffalo on the other side of NY).

 

I guess my point is that experience is good idea regardless of the field. I can tell you that doing human research is going to be MUCH, MUCH slower than microbiology so you'll have to be patient. I moved from an animal lab to human experimentation and the slower pace has been my biggest adjustment. I'd say go for it to broaden your research interests.

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Any lab that will teach you new things is a good lab in my book. Obviously you need to consider if that's the kind of environment you think you can work well in, but I would go for it. My experiences with the job market, if nothing else, have shown me how valuable having a range of skills is, and how rare it is to find a job where they're willing to teach you a lot of new things, and not just use you for the stuff you already know how to do.

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Thanks for the advice guys. My initial inclination is to go for it. But, of course, I'll wait to talk to the professor.

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It looks like a very good opportuntiy to me. like Paralith says, breadth of experience is often just as valuable as a good education. I'd love to work somewhere like that (but I'm biased as a Psychologist :) )

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