Being a research assistant as strengthened my presentation skills, my ability to comprehend convoluted articles, and most of all, my ability to write.
Academic writing and the ability to work through research articles has been immensely helpful for me my senior year. My research experience allowed me to cut down the time spent on pulling relevant articles and provided more time to brainstorm topic ideas or revise my work. This proved to be invaluable when faced with the task of putting together a 100+ paged report for a media research course. In addition, being able to write works such as literature reviews were incredibly helpful in easing my stress and worries in my capstone class, where a literature review was the final project.
Beyond writing at the undergraduate level, my ability to write allowed me to provide samples of my research prowess to prospective graduate school programs. Often times a writing supplement is required for communications-related Master’s programs. With a strong interest in continuing to research and pursue a PhD, submitting a sample of my previous research proposals was a great advantage I had. The sample displayed my ability to write, to logically structure research proposals, and to sell ideas.
These same three elements reappeared in my own personal grant-funded project, a YouTube channel titled “ConversAsian.” I had written numerous grant proposals during my time as a research assistant which fortunately allowed me to research with continuous funding. With a desire to branch outside of academic pursuits and try my hand at a creative project, I independently wrote the grant proposal which opened a new world of opportunity. The grant allowed me to create an educational and culturally-focused YouTube channel that is fully funded with $400.00 in supplies and over $40,000 in wages for myself and two other students.
While I imagined that being a research assistant would give me the skills necessary to succeed in school, I would have never imagined in three years it would give me the opportunity to independently start my own grant-funded project or the chance to attend the school of my dreams.