Research; a love hate relationship with an emphasis on the hate
Howdy! My name is Hayden Parsley and I am an Accounting Major from Texas A&M University, class of 2017. I grew up and lived most of my life in Houston, Texas. When I’m not working as a Business Development Intern for JBKnowledge, Inc. I enjoy watching Netflix, designing and building quadcopters and dancing. I teach tap, jazz, contemporary and hip-hop at Expressions Dance and Music in College Station. During the school year I am a member of Fade to Black Dance Ensemble, Dance Arts Society and perform in pieces with the Texas A&M Dance Program. But enough about me…
Research. This eight letter word makes most of us shudder in our seats when it is simply mentioned. Most of us hate hearing this word due to the horror stories of some awful English class that we or one of our friends took. It always starts of the same; you are just assigned to read two books. Nothing too bad, I mean we all can read. The first book isn’t terrible; you find most of it interesting and you could get all the way through it, but the second book is just awful. You end up painfully reading most of the second book and then spark noting the last chunk, because you reached the point where you would have rather hit your head against a 2×4 than read another page of that awful novel.
After both books have been discussed and analyzed in class, the professor decides to assign a research paper that asks you to examine how the symbols are used in the books you read, other novels, and real life. Not too bad right? You get to writing the paper a night or two before it is due (pshhh, who actually plans these things in advance?), and it is going great. You finish the paper, and feel confident, but you look down at your page count. You only have 4 pages out of 8. This then forces you to slave over the next day to find any way to show how a candle stick is a symbol for life. You begin to look a little rough after hour 16 of trying to come up with any ideas…
You come up with some of the most “interesting” or “insightful” concepts just to fill up those last four pages. “The candlestick is a representation that our life is short but we may leave an impact due to our actions, because although the wax gets burned away, we still have a bright and beautiful base that continues on to exist despite the extinguished top.” You turn the paper in having no idea how you are going to do, and you are praying that the professor will love the nonsense you made up in desperation. The professor gives you B+. You decide not to argue, but you are so confused on how 4 pages explaining how a candle, a mushroom, and a blanket represent life and our aspirations is worth a good grade.
The whole story I described above is why people have such a negative connotation of research, but we can’t have such a bad attitude towards it. Research plays such an important role in business, because it is how you conduct it effectively. You can’t go into a sales pitch without doing your homework on who is going to be in there, why they want your product, and knowledge about your product. Otherwise, there is no way you are ever going to sell anything.
Every job I have ever had has required me to do research in some form, and I can not stress how important it is. When I teach tap dance I have to research variations of a step, the history, and why it is important to learn it. When I work as a Business Development Intern at JBKnowledge, Inc., I conduct industry research every day that helps our company determine how to better serve the needs of our clients and prospects.
In just about every industry, you will have to look up information and analyze it. Although the actual task of analyzing how obscure decorative table objects make you feel is absolutely absurd, it is the process that is so important. The things that English professors ask you to research and analyze allow you to learn how to effectively collect information and formulate a critical opinion on that information. It is a skill you will use every day in your professional and personal life.