Applied Research Day students get upper hand for future employment

Months of hard work can lead to excellent opportunities for many science students

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By Mateo Muego

Research assistant Max Besarab says that the experience gained working on projects for Applied Research Day gives students an advantage in the job market.

“The students who don’t have a diploma but worked in a lab will probably be prioritized,” said Besarab.

Max Besarab says he’s worked with his research team to collect, dry and analyze a new variety of feral hops.

We’re focusing on comparing two methodologies right now, it’s like a solvent extraction, steam distillation,” said Besarab.

The applied research centre (ARC) funds research projects involving both students and instructors. These projects allow students to learn the process of scientific research while still attending classes.

Every semester the ARC has between 35 to 45 students involved in research projects. There are four to six students in a group, each of whom are assigned a unique role. Students involved at the centre spend between two and seven hours a day working on their research projects while balancing their course load.

Fundamental skills learned

Bersab says working with Langara’s ARC puts students in a unique position for employment opportunities.

“It teaches you practical skills and ethics of the research, which will be beneficial if someone will continue into third or fourth year or into masters and doing their own projects. And it gives insights into how the labs work,” said Besarab.

Besarab said he has seen students get hired soon after working on research projects in the ARC because they have more practical experience in comparison to the average student.

Lydia Chau, a data analyst student, said learning these skills will prepare her for the future.

Although Chau says the subject of her project isn’t her chosen field, she says the opportunity has given her “good experience.”

Chau’s project, which focuses on helping Langara’s sustainability by creating a new system to identify types of waste and recycling, is an example of how a student can gain practical experience while benefiting the school.

“I would say it’s fun,” said Chau, adding, “And also it’s more related to our daily life.”

Research benefiting the public

Kelly Sveinson, the director for the ARC, said the work of students shouldn’t be underestimated.

“The work that [students] are doing has direct relevance to the community, the work that they do is real,” he said.

Sveinson said that the instructors have seen many students hired for jobs within their field of interest after graduation.

“Students are really keen on just developing their skills in the area that they’re interested in pursuing,” he said. “This helps students, once they get out of school, have kind of a network already or business experience,”

The Applied Research Day will take place March 23 in the A Building foyer and will involve 25 different presenters showcasing their ongoing research projects.

The projects are on display from 11:30 a.m until 2:30 p.m.

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