Why should you do research as an undergraduate?

Geoffrey Garrett, Dean and Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise, The Wharton School

geoff-garrettDoing 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 bureaucrat like my father, brother and sister, I went to Oxford where I taught Rhodes and Marshall scholars. Read more

Debi Ogunrinde, C’16, W’16

Debi OgunrindeUndergraduate research gives students the opportunity to learn about something that interests them most and take ownership of the thought, discovery, and delivery of new ideas to their field of study. In my case, research via the Social Impact Research Experience (SIRE) enabled me to explore the real-world implications of development economics policies and interventions in Lagos, Nigeria. Read more

Paul Karner, C’03, W’03, Associate, Analysis Group

PKarnerResearch experience is perhaps the single most important qualification we look for in the analysts we hire. This experience can take many forms, but consistently involves exposure to the scientific method, iteration between methods and results, experience working both independently and collaboratively, and writing. These activities build in-depth knowledge and logical reasoning skills. Read more

Ashish Shah, W’92, Head of Fixed Income, Alliance Bernstein

Ashish Shah

My undergrad experience prepared me for success in a crisis that few expected and fewer were prepared for.

When at Wharton, I was fortunate enough to conduct research in two completely different areas of finance.   Read more

Kate Lakin, Assistant Director of Global Equity Research, Putnam Investments

Lakin-Kathryn-BachmanSuccessful investments are driven entirely by sound, thorough, and differentiated research processes. Here at Putnam Investments, research is the cornerstone of our work. Whether it is analyzing and quantifying the impact of launching a differentiated product into a new market or thinking through various valuation methodologies based on history and past cycles, research is critical. Read more

Julio Reynaga, C’13, W’13, J.P. Morgan

Julio-ReynagaConducting research either by helping faculty as a research assistant or working on your own project will teach you a valuable skill set that you will use throughout your career. In fact, it will help you get the job in the first place. Read more

Katherina M. Rosqueta, WG’01, Founding Executive Director, Center for High Impact Philanthropy,  University of Pennsylvania

KRosquetaIf you want to get to the best answers, if you hope to persuade others to action, if you want to avoid making the mistakes others have made and wasting time reinventing the wheel – then learn how to do research. In an increasingly information-rich environment, strong research skills help you cut through the noise. Read more

Joseph Wang, C’13, W’13, Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company

Wang-JosephThe short answer is because research will be part of your job even if it’s not in your job description. Most people think about research in a narrow sense — sitting in a scientific lab hunched over a microscope looking at cells.  The reality is that research is simply the ability to distill and communicate two perspectives: the status quo and what’s new. Read more