Way back in February 2017, Leah Hackman, a Computing Science PD student and longtime Ada’s Team member gave an amazing talk entitled “Just Press Send”.
In this talk, Leah gave practical advice (and encouragement!) about two often daunting tasks:
- Asking a professor for a reference letter, and
Asking a professor to apply for an NSERC USRA with you
After much delay, the talk is available here: just_press_send.pdf
So please, even if you are not sure if research is for you, or you are not currently in need of a reference letter, check out these slides. And tell your friends. There are some great tips in here!
And lastly, a personal testimonial: Before I attended this talk, I had no intention of applying to be a summer research assistant. A few days later, after mulling it over, I was convinced. I studied the slides, wrote up an email, held my breath, and pressed send. The professor was willing to apply for an NSERC USRA with me, and although ultimately, I was not awarded an NSERC, the professor was able to find alternative funding for me!