CDC Lunch & Learn with Amber Bonds: REU’s

Elizabeth Field

The Career Development Center provides UNH students with a multitude of resources and opportunities to secure internships, careers and research opportunities. On Monday, Feb. 25, honors student Amber Bonds presented her REU experience with students following a presentation by CDC Executive Director of Career Development Matt Caporale, which introduced students to an REU website and offered tips to finding the perfect summer internship or research experience.

Photo by Elizabeth Field

Amber spent 10 weeks last summer in Oregon in what she referred to as a “summer camp for nerds.” Many undergraduate research opportunities offer financial compensation and opportunities for academic and personal betterment. Bonds’ specific program included free roundtrip airfare to the university, living accommodations and free meals along with a $4,000 stipend upon completion. Quoting UNH Executive Dean Lawrence Flanagan, who launched the iconic MasterCard campaign, Ms. Bonds concluded her list of financial perks with “having the best time of my life…PRICELESS.”

The Oregon group included a diverse array of undergraduate students ranging in ages from 18 to 27 and coming from all across the globe, from Hawaii to Nepal. While abiding to a strict Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 schedule, the students had their weekends free which they utilized with sightseeing opportunities, even skydiving.

Outside of her laboratory work, Bonds attended weekly lab social meetings in which participants discussed the status of their research, made use of free GRE classes and graduate admissions preparation courses, and attended academic lectures relevant to her field of study. Bonds is currently continuing the research she began last summer, expanding her findings to fulfill her Honors Program thesis entitled, “Genetic Interactions between RNA Polymerase II and Transcription Factor Mutations.”

UNH sponsors an annual Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for current students, of which applications recently closed. There are many opportunities for REU’s outside of the university which can be found at www.IBParticipation.com. Although the opportunities are mainly science-focused, there are opportunities for nearly every major and field of interest.