Being a uTA Strengthened My Laboratory Skills


My name is Jolie and I’m a sophomore biology student here at UMass. Getting involved
with research and other related opportunities was one thing that I knew I wanted to pursue
before I even enrolled at UMass, but the idea of finding these opportunities always seemed
daunting. Right before the new school year started I discovered BUA and was immediately
interested and excited by the diverse opportunities it presented.

Aside from research opportunities, BUA also has applications for undergraduate TAs and
I was lucky to be chosen as a uTA for Biology 153, Introductory Biology Laboratory course.
When I had previously taken the course, it was hybrid due to the pandemic. Although I still
learned the skills I was expected to learn in the course, the hybrid style hindered the experience
(as it would for any course). However, by being a uTA I got to strengthen my laboratory skills in
an in-person setting which I had missed out on before.

In addition to strengthening my own skills, I got to pass on my knowledge to fellow
students and help them have a successful laboratory experience. It was very rewarding being
able to see how my presence in the course was valuable to these students. At the end of the
semester, I had a new-found confidence in myself as a student and a deeper interest in the
topics we experimented. Without BUA I wouldn’t have found the opportunity to be a uTA. I’m
looking forward to utilizing BUA for my last couple of years as an undergraduate student,
whether I’m applying to be a uTA again or applying for a research position.