A question about work experience on application form

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huyichen
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:28 pm

A question about work experience on application form

Postby huyichen » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi guys, so I am now completing application forms for some graduate schools, and in one section they ask you to describe your work experience. So I have participated in the SURF program in caltech one summer and some other REU programs, since I am being paid for all of them, will they be counted as work experience? What's the difference between work experience and research experience, I think I am a little bit confused.

pqortic
Posts: 398
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:24 am

Re: A question about work experience on application form

Postby pqortic » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:14 pm

the work experience would be any work that you have done outside of academy or when you were out of school.

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HappyQuark
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Re: A question about work experience on application form

Postby HappyQuark » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:04 pm

huyichen wrote:Hi guys, so I am now completing application forms for some graduate schools, and in one section they ask you to describe your work experience. So I have participated in the SURF program in caltech one summer and some other REU programs, since I am being paid for all of them, will they be counted as work experience? What's the difference between work experience and research experience, I think I am a little bit confused.


Work experience generally means non-academic but still relevant activities. For example, I worked for a private medical hardware testing facility and then an Aerospace DoD engineering company, both of which I cited on my applications.

michael
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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: A question about work experience on application form

Postby michael » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:07 pm

They just want you to list any paid jobs you have had.

They probably don't care much about non-academic research experience in most circumstances, so if you have no jobs or have just worked in a supermarket to get some cash at the weekend then just list your jobs and don't worry about it too much.

If a non-academic job explains what you were doing for 3 years since graduating or explains how you learned how to use/build some apparatus which you will need during a phd then it would be a good idea to mention it like any other salient piece of info in your statement of purpose, as well as listing it in the job section.

If your research work was paid, then you should probably list it in the work experience section as well as discussing it in your statement of purpose.

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grae313
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Re: A question about work experience on application form

Postby grae313 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:58 pm

This is good advice. To expound: If you had to work to support yourself through college, that says something about you and this gives you a place to bring that out. If your research was your work, go ahead and list your research under both the "research" and "work experience" headings. The fact that someone was willing to pay you to do your research is relevant to admissions. If you had a completely unrelated job, you can still bring out something about how the experience has made you better prepared for graduate school. There are physics-related skills and there are life-related skills -- both are important.




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