STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN FIRE
Each year, more than 600 new first-year UMD students join one of our 15 research streams.
FIRE allowed me to develop skills that are undoubtedly going to help me in my academic and professional life. Conducting real-world research is multi-faceted: you learn critical thinking, teamwork, leadership and much more.
FIRE taught me how to think critically and question every part of the research process. I learned how to be a good team member, a good mentor and a good listener. FIRE taught me how to be a strong leader, but also a reliable follower and teammate.
After completing two semesters in FIRE, I realized that I would like to devote my life to research. The FIRE program gave me first-hand experience as to what my professional career would be. From writing literature reviews to conducting analyses, I feel prepared to take on the next chapter in my life.
I learned how interested I am in drug-delivery and similar methods of therapeutics as a specialization. I saw a difference in how recruiters viewed me and my credentials due to FIRE, and always remembered how thankful I should be for being able to pursue a year-long research project starting in my freshman year.
I was able to get a job at a research lab at Johns Hopkins Hospital because of they experience I got through the FIRE program.
FIRE enabled me to develop a passion for research early in my undergraduate career. Because of FIRE, I was able to earn other lab positions at UMD. These experiences have contributed to me now working as an IRTA fellow at the National Institute of Health, and have inspired me to pursue an MD/PhD dual degree.
FIRE allowed me to work with my professor on a more personal level. She taught me so much that I never would have learned otherwise, and she felt more like a mentor than a professor.
The most impactful aspect of my FIRE experience was my early exposure to technical microbiology lab skills and general biomedical lab culture. It made me confident and well equipped to pursue other research experiences at UMD, both related and unrelated to my FIRE stream.
I couldn't be more passionate about my time in FIRE. FIRE transformed lab from a passive to an active approach. My instructor provided a hands on experience using cutting-edge technology. This independence and personal attitude towards research gave me a sense of ownership and responsibility.
FIRE helped develop me into the research-driven engineer that I am today. I owe several thanks to both the FIRE program and Dr. Yeo. Aside from knowledge learned, FIRE is a great and comforting program that creates a community of like-minded students which can be really beneficial for new students.
From the moment I entered college, the work I did in FIRE was preparing me to do tasks that will be required of me when I reach my professional goal as a Business Analyst. These include working in a team and developing solutions depending on the problems that were presented to my team.
In my junior year, I landed a really great internship at a quantitative investment firm because of my FIRE experience. During my interview, a statistics PhD asked me deep questions about panel data, volatility models, and regressions. The only reason I knew how to respond was because of what I learned in FIRE.
FIRE has helped me develop meaningful relationships with other students and with faculty while building the technical skills in psychological research methods necessary to succeed in my undergraduate studies and be more competitive for graduate school.
I have developed the resilience that is needed for research. Failure no longer deters me, research has allowed me to understand that you have keep trying to get the results you want. After doing a PCR more than 4 times, you develop perseverance.
The FIRE program has helped me cultivate professional attributes such as the ability to work productively in a team as well as independently, interact with people in a professional environment, leadership, documentation, write academic papers, and lead presentations on my research.
Coming into this program with minimal experience was both exciting and daunting. The FIRE community, however, quickly made this opportunity seem less overwhelming and more manageable and allowed me to put curiosity first. The faculty and peer mentors truly make the FIRE program.
FIRE completely reshaped my professional goals by first steering me toward social science. My resume has benefited greatly from all of the skills and opportunities I have gained through FIRE, and the program has proven to be a great talking point with potential employers and potential graduate school advisers.
FIRE was one of the best decisions I could have made upon arriving to UMD. The experiences from working with exceptional lab faculty in a professional lab setting allowed me to grow in a way that other students may not have the opportunity to in a normal classroom setting.
Mairead Whitford Jones
FIRE makes me more competitive for many internships. Several internships I've looked at prefer students with past research experience and skills, like working in RStudio, and that makes me a better candidate.
FIRE helped me advance my professional goals by giving me practical experience that I could talk about during interviews. This allowed me to get several positions that I might have otherwise not had enough experience for.
FIRE made me a better scientist. I am now able to communicate effectively by speaking slower, more deliberately and using the correct terminology. I also am able to efficiently read extensive scientific papers that I may have been very intimidated by prior to the program.