Research helped me...

Two researchers examining data on laptop computers

Three-time Undergraduate Research Symposium participant Mat Wilson credits conducting research and presenting it to others to helping prepare his mind for the working world, as well as his post-graduate pursuits.

Wilson, who graduated in June 2019 with a degree in anthropology, now works in the University Career Center in Tykeson Hall as a Career Readiness Coach.

“When I first started doing research and realized how much I liked it, I was looking at research as a career track,” Wilson said. “Now I view research as more of a skill that benefits anyone in any field, rather than a specific job title.”

He uses skills he learned in the lab to help him with budgets, assessments of program and initiative effectiveness and much more.

And, now that he works in a position where he is advising students on matching their passion to future career options, he often finds himself detailing the benefits he found himself in conducting and presenting his research on the impacts of stress on bonobos, a small primate frequently mistaken for pygmy chimpanzees.

“Research taught me how to pay very close attention to data and details, as I learned that those pieces of data you’re collecting are used to examining a larger issue and you want that picture to be as accurate as possible, Wilson said. “Those details matter.”

Being so involved on campus during his time at the University of Oregon, including his work in the lab of Frances White, helped Wilson to see that his future wouldn’t be spent in a lab, but instead on a college campus. He plans to complete a master of public administration and a master of business administration while he continues working at the UO. His long term plans include a doctoral program in Higher Education that emphasizes conducting research, so he can someday work in college and university administration.

“I like research, so I want a doctoral program that is heavy on conducting research,” Wilson said. “I like data. It’s fun.”