Why should you do research as an undergraduate? Doing academic research can change your life—and immensely for the better. It certainly did mine. I was a decent student. But not a highly motivated one. Then I literally “fell in love” with research. Instead of returning to Australia to be a bureaucrat like my father, brother, and sister, I went to Oxford where I taught Rhodes and Marshall scholars. And now I am dean of the Wharton School. And it is all because of research.
Of course, you don’t have to want to be a professor to get enormous value out of research. In any high-skill job, the core facets of independent research are invaluable—formulate an important question, find the information you need to answer it, analyze the information in a way that sorts out the wheat from the chaff, and communicate what you’ve learned in a way that will persuade others you are right. And there is no better place to do research than at Wharton, the world’s preeminent research-led business school.