The only prior experience I had in terms of research, was what I learned through my academic courses, mostly from my extended minor in Psychology. I learnt a lot about research methodology and data analysis from my minor, so I really suggest taking a minor as it can really provide you with a wealth of knowledge you might not get otherwise! I had textbook knowledge of research studies and the way studies are conducted, however, through this co-op position I was able to apply my academic knowledge to the real world and help contribute to actual research.
In terms of preparation, I relied mostly on the training I was provided in advance of my co-op term. I started to receive training a few weeks before my co-op term began, and this really helped me prepare for my new role.
Preparation Tips for Future Students
Before your co-op term begins, I suggest researching the company/organization to learn more about what they do, what their goals are, and what they stand for, so you have a better idea of the company’s atmosphere and get a sense of what it will be like to work for them. Also, take a look at what the job requirements/responsibilities are. If there is something you are unfamiliar with, such as certain software, take this time to learn more about it and how it works. This will help you feel more prepared when your co-op term begins, and you will feel better equipped to tackle these new skills. In terms of this specific position, I would recommend familiarizing yourself with medical terminology and abbreviations as you will come across it quite a bit. Also, try to learn about the data entry software such as REDCap, as this is vital for data collection/entry purposes.