Which Labmate Are You?

Which Labmate Are You?

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Which Labmate Are You? (Grad School Edition)

Grad school is like the Olympics of the academic world; the challenge is real, but so is the gold. There’s one catch, though. You have a group project coming up and need to rely on your fellow labmates to pull their weight to “get the gold”. Who knew that grad school could be likened to a team sport?

Before heading into your next group project, take a moment to complete our quiz and find out which labmate you and your teammates are!

Quiz: Which Labmate Are You?

Instructions: Grab a sheet of paper and write down the letters that correspond to the answers that best describe you. We’ll review the results at the end. No peeking!

Question #1: When the group discusses assigning a team leader, you…

A. try to avoid eye contact, so no one will notice you are there. B. immediately volunteer. In fact, you’ve already created a plan to cross the finish line. C. would be happy to, but maybe a more experienced student should take the wheel. D. have led enough group projects and you aren’t about to lead this one. E. quickly give the team a rundown of everything on your plate including work and personal life. You couldn’t possibly add another responsibility. F. pick out the star student and talk up their strengths to avoid getting picked.

Question #2: Going into a group project, how is your energy level?

A. About average. B. Bring it on… it probably won’t be that challenging anyways. C. You’re totally amped and can’t wait to meet your classmates! D. You’re burned out and ready to get it over with. E. You wish you had more energy to contribute to this project. F. You’re always positive with great things to say.

Question #3: What do you say when you see a teammate falling behind?

A. “Their problems are not my problems.” B. “I’m done with my part, so let me know how I can help!” C. “I’m still trying to figure this out myself.” D. “If they can’t keep up, I’m not going to help them.” E. “I’m not sure I can pitch in with everything on my plate.” F. “I’m always happy to help (but, I probably won’t)”

Question #4: Do you always complete your work on time?

A. My portion of the project is done precisely on time, as promised. B. I finished my part a week early; what’s next? C. Who wants to coordinate schedules to work on our action items together? D. You’ll get it when it’s done, don’t rush me. E. Does anyone think they’ll be done early to help me out? F. I was able to convince the professor to extend the deadline.

Question #5: What is your level of organization?

A. Well organized but let me do things my way. B. I set up a shared Notion so we can track milestones and notes. C. Check out these great color-coded folders my mom bought me! D. They better not ask me to contribute to a shared project tracker… E. Does anyone have time after class to show me how they are managing to keep up? F. You compliment everyone else's organizational skills but don't have any of your own.

Question #6: How Do You Deal with Conflict in the Lab?

A. “Call me Switzerland. I’m not getting involved.” B. “I’ll mediate. Let’s sit down and talk through the challenges and come to a solution.” C. “Conflict isn’t in my vocabulary. I’m here to make friends.” D. “I’m likely to be the cause of conflict because the others have stupid ideas.” E. “I have my own problems; I don’t have time to solve anyone else's.”
F. “I think both sides probably have good points.”

Question #7: How Do You Handle Stress?

A. “I might get stressed, but I’ll never show it.” B. “What is this strange word?” C. “I’m having too much fun to be stressed!” D. “I’m not stressed… I’m just annoyed that I have to be here.” E. “My therapist is on speed dial.” F. “If anyone feels stressed, I’m here to talk you through it.”

Well, Which Labmate Are You?

Now, compare your responses to the answers below. If your answers are split, you might fall into a couple of different labmate types.

If you answered mostly, A…

You’re The Hermit. You are the master of working alone. You want to be given your portion of the project and look forward to working solo. You’re the perfect teammate because you always complete what you promise. You never miss a deadline. But keep in mind that your silence and distance from the team may appear unfriendly or uncollaborative and deprive you of learning from your teammates.

If you answered mostly, B…

You are The Rockstar (aka, The Overachiever). You are easy to work with, and people are often amazed at how effortlessly you could get so much done. You are extremely well organized and expect others to be also. This could irritate some of your labmates, so know when to back off and not be so overbearing.

If you answered mostly, C…

Welcome to grad school! You’re most likely The Newbie. You are so excited to be here! Life is amazing and you are ready for any challenge. You might also be a little nervous and apprehensive and rely on more experienced students to show you the way. Nobody wants to work with a “Debbie Downer”, but your enthusiasm could get a little annoying.

If you answered mostly, D…

There’s no easy way to say this… You’re likely The Jaded. Grad school for you has lost its luster. It could be because you have been in school for what feels like an eternity. Or, you are questioning what you are even doing with your life. The team will greatly appreciate your experience and wealth of knowledge, just be careful to keep the attitude in check. There’s no need to make others as miserable as you are.

If you answered mostly, E…

You’re probably The Overwhelmed. You went into school with good intentions of furthering your career or advancing your education, but you never knew it would be so stressful. Every challenge feels insurmountable. Take deep breaths and meditate. Build lists. Remember to take one step at a time and don’t let your anxieties take advantage of you.

If you answered mostly, F…

You’re The Sweet Talker. You always have something positive to say, no matter what. You always tell people what they want to hear and are great at using your words to get exactly what you want. You avoid conflict wherever possible and don’t like to offer suggestions that go against the overall group. Sometimes, contrary ideas can effectively result in a more complete conclusion; a stronger overall project. Try to speak up if you disagree with something–even if it may feel uncomfortable. Be careful that your sweetness doesn’t come across as disingenuous.

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