Research Assistant

It’s been over a month since I started work in NUS, at my FYP lab, as a research assistant. It has been quite a good experience and I got to know what I’m looking for in a career.

  • Flexibility seemed to be the utmost important to me right now. I enjoy the freedom of reporting to work at any time (though I’ve been reporting to work rather timely at 9am daily, almost), going off work on time (to cater to my dance rehearsals), and I don’t mind working in the lab during weekends.
  • People at the workplace allows me to enjoy my work there. We all, being engineers, have reduced ability to bitch and backstab. This mirrors my work experience in ST where the engineers were working conscientiously while the sales people and the secretaries created the majority of the drama in the department.
  • I like implementing processes and workflow in my workplace. I helped organized a lab orientation for the incoming lab members and I like the idea of putting in a structured system which was never there before; and document events/skills so that the same process may be executed again easily when the day arrives.
  • I have limited passion for research. Yixin suggested the possibility of me designing my own research but it didn’t excite me.

Just a little unsure about what I should do at the end of this contract. There’s an opportunity to undergo 15 months of training and attachment at a pharmaceutical facility in the United States of America, and I could choose to stay behind for one more year. Hmm… My only worries is that by being a research assistant, I am not developing the career path that I should be in. Then again, maybe I should be as aggressive as I was when I was doing my FYP.

Oh yar… I also like that I need not be in business attire on a daily basis. Some juniors wondered why I can work in NUS in T-shirts and bermudas. Speaking of encountering friends within NUS, the first questions they always ask are always “Why are you here?” and “Doing PhD?” I don’t mind explaining that I am only working as a Research Assistant but it does get tiresome after I repeat myself several times to different friends. (And neither Research Assistant not R.A. has a nice ring to it. =.=”)

Had a fun day in the lab yesterday when the few of us suddenly thought of conducting our lab meetings and discussions in Mandarin. Terms like 眼角膜 (cornea), 聚二甲基硅氧烷 (polydimethylsiloxane), 细胞外基质 (extracellular matrix) and 脱氧核糖核酸 (DNA) came out (mostly with the help of Google Translate).

硅氧, 烷

Wahaha… Crappy lab jokes.


5 thoughts on “Research Assistant

  1. i think the reduced ability to bitch and backstab might be attributed to gender HAHA. or oblivion lOL!

    but a direction is still something! a starting point at the very least. you’ll get where you want in time to come! hehs just a matter of working towards it. jiayous! =)

  2. “2nd consecutive day with insufficient sleep working on some “admin stuffs”. Will surely bite one’s neck off if one irritates me today.”

    My dear, hundreds, if not thousands of teachers have been suffering from that for don’t know how many years. You, two days, want to complain?

    You can join wanhui in saluting me in your newfound respect for teachers.

  3. hahaha im glad to hear that you are “enjoying” ur work as a RA. I think freedom is the keyword. With freedom and room for development does passion set in, which will then fuel really awesome quality work. hahaha my 2 cents worth.

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