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Should I mention that I'm an introvert in my research program application?


Hello, I'm applying to a competitive research program in my state. I was thinking about being honest and mentioning that I'm an introvert. Should I admit it and say how I grew to know that you have to take risks or should I not mention it. This was what I wanted to say... "As an introvert, it has always been difficult for me to face my own challenges. However, as I continued my high school career, I realized that I had to take risks." Should I put it or will it affect my chances??


3 answers

answered on

I say only put it in if you can skew it to showcase a positive point of your personality, ie how you LEARNED or gained PERSONAL GROWTH. for a research application make sure to keep it professional

answered on[edited]

I don't think mentioning your tendency to keep to yourself is a positive attribute when competing for a research program. If it doesn't add to your application, you don't need to bring it up. Even though much of the work itself can be completed alone, I think the organizers don't need to know anything more than what your merits explain assuming you can show your ability to collaborate, share, team-build, and be transparent. I think it's important to work on it privately because if you truly want to apply to an MIT or CalTech they prefer to advocate for top applicants who thrive in a group effort. JPL is a collaborative effort as well as many of the research labs at MIT. No one builds the next-gen particle accelerator alone in a vacuum. I mean you could but the probabilities are exponentially increased if it a hive mindset. So good luck with the application and do things outside your comfort zone to overcome your shyness or openness. Maybe find an online group that likes to play the same video games etc.

Just because someone is introverted doesn't mean they don't work well with others. You seem like you think all students at elite universities are extroverts which just isn't accurate.
I didn't say any of that. I said, why bring it up it not going to put you in the best light. And yes, the 2 top STEM colleges in America go out of their way to encourage and support their students to come out of their shell and be more engaging.
I may be being a bit pedantic but introversion does not mean the same thing as shyness, nor does it means someone isn't "willing to come out of their shell." That division also doesn't have a ton of merit in discussion of group work; most introverts are fine on the small teams of the kind that you find at schools like MIT (and from personal knowledge of Cornell Engineering, most upper-tier science/tech programs tend to have more introverts than extroverts).
answered on

Not so much that way but it can be like I lacked motivation to interact with people blah blah blah etc

Can you be more specific? Iโ€™ve been stressing about it for the past 3 days and the deadline is tomorrow
So like As someone who likes to hangout with myself I started to join clubs interact with people and in general I was shy. I started to be more social as I grew to love blah blah
Hope that helps