Recently, I've been interviewing undergraduates at Brilliant University for a position working in the lab as a summer research assistant with yours truly. I had a number of well-qualified applicants, as well as one young lady who has been a little, um, misinformed. Here is a snippet of our conversation:
Undergrad: "Like, oh my god! It is so good to meet you! I'm, like, totally excited to do research!"
Candid Engineer: "I'm glad you have such enthusiasm. I see here on your resume that you previously worked in the Joe Doe lab. How long were you there?"
U: "I stuck around for, like, 4 weeks!"
CE: "Oh, I see. That is not very long. Did you not enjoy your experience in the Doe lab? What was the problem?"
U: "Well, I determined very quickly that the Doe lab was totally wrong for me! I discovered that, like, all of the lab work was totally manual and totally repetitive! I also realized that there was, like, no way for us to get a product out by the end of the year!"
CE: "Well, that is quite ambitious."
U: "I would rather say that they were unambitious! I want to help people! I don't want to sit around pipetting! I need to get my products out there! So people can, like, use them!"
At this point, I politely cautioned the delusional undergraduate that research is a time-consuming and lengthy labor of love, and that our satisfaction came in knowing that our work would eventually help people, however far off that may be. I then promptly ushered the wackaloon out the door, because I had to get back to work. I was about to write up the first, middle, and final version of a manuscript describing a set of experiments that I had devised and executed that morning, just after my coffee break but before my 10am snack. God, I am quick.