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Chemistry Internship Opportunity - October 1st 2013, 03:37 PM

So, since I'm in my sophomore year in college, my major is Chemistry. Before I entered college (more like during summer at the end of my senior year of high school and before I entered into my freshman year in college), I was offered an internship. There is this guy at my church back home, who works in a lab and most of the work he does involves chemistry and research and stuff like that.

So, I was wondering if I should take this internship at the end of my sophomore year in college or wait until the end of my junior year of college? At the end of my sophomore year of college, hopefully, I would have taken up until organic chemistry I, in regards to chemistry courses/classes, so my knowledge would be limited up until stuff related to organic chemistry I. If I wait until the end of my junior year of college, my knowledge would be limited to stuff up until Computational Techniques in Chemistry, Research Methods in Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis Chemistry, and/or Physical Chemistry I.

My parents have said that students (they both work at the university that is closest to my home, but the university they work at is not the same one I currently go to now) can start taking internships whenever they are in college, but it is best if they take internships, starting in their sophomore year of college (I think that is what they said, I don't exactly remember what they said about this). My parents have said that if I take this internship at the end of my sophomore year of college, that I will learn things that I may otherwise may not learn in any of my college chemistry courses/classes and that it will benefit/help me in the long run.

Anyways, my main question is that should I take this internship at the end of my sophomore year of college or wait until the end of my junior year of college?

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Re: Chemistry Internship Opportunity - October 2nd 2013, 02:45 AM

I began my first internship halfway through my sophomore year, so I was REALLY ahead of the curve. Granted, I was a psychology major, so I probably didn't need to know as many "basics" as a chemistry major would need to know. I learned just about everything I needed to know after I began working with the team.

First, get back in touch with the person who offered the internship, and make sure that's still on the table. Second, ask him what prerequisites are required for the internship (for example, basic knowledge of _______ or ability to do _________ in a lab). Finally, think about all the other pros and cons to starting an internship at the end of your sophomore year vs. junior year. If you start one year earlier, you'll have more experience to add to your resume prior to applying for jobs and/or grad school programs after your senior year. You'll also begin to network with this guy and your co-workers earlier on, which could lead to more internship or employment opportunities. If you plan to take a lot of difficult classes during your junior year (but not your senior year), then waiting another year might not be a bad idea. Think about whether you need to take a part-time job (in which case, an unpaid internship might have to wait). Think about any studying abroad you might want to do. There are lots of other things to factor in before committing to an internship. Fortunately, you have some time to think about it all. =)

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