BIO 201 - Research TA

I received an email from my professor asking if I would like to be a TA because I did well in the previous biology exam. It was probably sent to everyone who received an A in the class. I had never considered being a TA because my interest is not in biology, but since there was an opportunity to work from home during the vacation period, I decided to talk to the professor first. During the vacation, the professor offered three options, and I could choose the one I wanted and work for the desired amount of time, getting paid accordingly. At that time, I didn't have any vacation plans, and it seemed like a unique experience, so I decided to take on the role.

While working

During the TA work, my task was to collect materials for a new class. There were two other options, but I chose the one that was the most interesting and least burdensome. Originally, I had thought of dedicating 10 hours a week, but it became difficult to allocate that much time after starting the internship, so I decided to do only 5 hours per week. Even with just 5 hours a week, it was quite challenging to complete the weekly quota. Despite being exhausted and thinking about the tasks I couldn't accomplish after work, I ended up doing them all on weekends. I mainly focused on the field of environmental studies. The professor gave me an idea of how the class would be structured, so I searched for topics related to that. Since I was looking for materials to be used in the class, I primarily searched reliable websites and tried to find interesting content for the students. Another part of my job was to write down the interesting or previously unknown aspects I discovered during my research. I assumed the professor already knew all this information and was interested in teaching and hearing how ordinary students like me think about the subject. As I delved into the environmental topics that initially seemed dull and uninteresting, I found a wealth of new information and discovered that it was more engaging than I expected. One particularly intriguing topic was nuclear energy. It is advertised in the EU as low in carbon emissions to the point of being classified as renewable energy. However, it takes decades to build a power plant for nuclear energy, and during that period, oil or coal is used to bridge the gap. Furthermore, there is a lack of technology or long construction times for facilities to handle radioactive waste. In France, it took 20 years to build such a facility. Therefore, there are many areas where the technological capability for using nuclear energy is currently lacking. While renewable energy is becoming cheaper and more efficient, nuclear energy is becoming increasingly expensive.


At first, I wondered why, as someone aspiring to work in development, I had to be a TA for biology. However, since I believe that development ultimately exists to solve problems, this opportunity allowed me to experience various fields, and I was very satisfied. Moreover, the professor guided me by providing weekly suggestions on areas I lacked knowledge in or topics to explore, which reduced unnecessary concerns and allowed me to focus more on research. Through this experience, not only did I change my fixed ideas, but I also gained some knowledge in other fields, which was incredibly rewarding.

letter from the professorLetter from the professor