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I am an undergraduate currently conducting research in a physics research group at my university. I really enjoy the group and am planning to stay with them during my next few years here.

However, as an undergrad, I would like to explore many possible career paths. This summer, I'm looking to apply to a few industry positions that would have me performing very similar research (as an intern).

My question: Is this "proper etiquette" in academia? Is it okay to apply to other similar research positions that are possibly competing with the group, as an undergrad?

I honestly am not sure. I know outside of academia it would be perfectly okay for an undergrad to apply to other jobs, as we are expected to figure out what we want to do for a career. But in research, what's the right thing to do?

  • What field are you in? It's certainly OK in mine, but it may not impress anyone, but on the other hand, plenty of UGs don't work over the summers (they go home, etc) – Azor Ahai Oct 12 '19 at 2:08
  • Physics! When you say "it may not impress anyone" what exactly do you mean? I don't want to burn any bridges.. – ghardy123 Oct 12 '19 at 2:25
  • Oh, I just mean people aren't going to be blown away by you doing an industry internship, but in general should be fine with it. But I'm not in physics, so I don't know how accurate that generalization is to you. – Azor Ahai Oct 15 '19 at 0:34
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Yes, it's okay to seek industry internships while you are conducting undergraduate research.

Discuss this with your supervisor. They should help you.

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