College is an experience, for better or for worse, that many of us go through. And while the work can be overwhelming, it can also be life-changing. For plenty of students, a career is only something they are tentatively exploring during young adulthood, while others have known what path they wanted to pursue since they were children.
For those who may be untethered to a career path, the right push from an attentive professor is just the nudge they need. And for those eagerly following their chosen paths, a professor’s encouragement is just the thing to launch their ideas to the next level. The benefits of having students involved in scientific research aren’t one-sided; certainly, there are many great reasons for students to get involved at the benefit of themselves, but it’s also in the professor’s best interest to have student assistants in their laboratory. Let’s explore four reasons why.
Students Offer a Fresh Perspective
The brain is limitless in its power to think, but oftentimes that power stagnates in repetitive thought patterns without the correct stimulus to advance beyond that rut. A fresh perspective from an eager mind is just the thing to expand a traditional way of thinking. It takes 10 to 15 long years to develop an effective medicine, and science and research play a huge part in that medicine coming to fruition, but without minds that can think outside of the box, it could take even longer to develop. A student asks questions that makes a professor think outside of their usual realm of understanding, which can lead to incredible discoveries.
A Student Is Eager to Learn
Some professors are experts in their field because they’ve worked very, very hard in it for countless years, but that tried and true method of working isn’t always very exciting. A student’s eagerness to learn can be a breath of fresh air that inspires their fellow students as well as faculty to look at problems and questions in a new light, and perhaps take on a bit of that eagerness for themselves. Human beings will never be at a point of knowing everything, and no one is ever too old to learn something new. Follow in that student’s example and find out something new.
Student Researchers are Exposed to a Lab Setting
Laboratories are different than traditional classrooms for a host of obvious reasons. What your student may not know before entering a research environment is just how cautious they must be for the sake of their experiments, their results, their peers, and themselves. By exposing a student to a lab environment sooner rather than later, and allowing them to work in an environment that more or less imitates the setting they’ll find themselves in after graduation gives them a huge leg up in the business, while keeping themselves safe from harm.
Interaction with Their Peers
Classmates and professional peers are in two different categories, and not every student understands this. By allowing student researchers the chance to interact with professors and assistant researchers, they are given to chance to learn how to collaborate, experiment, and simply learn in an environment that is extremely conducive to their success and to successes in the world of science and medicine.