Working from Home as a Part-Time Research Assistant

December 15, 2021

by Jon Lorence Panelo

You might ask, what are the benefits of being a student working part-time? Accion et al. (2019) stated that working part-time students can quickly develop team cooperation, customer care, communication, practical skills, among others. More so, you might also be curious about the benefits of working part-time as a research assistant to a student like me. As mentioned by Walkington (2015), research gives students the chance to write about something that had never been written about before, gain experience, have freedom of opinions and sources, improve their own writing, and have a feeling of accomplishment. These are just some of the benefits that continue to motivate me to work part-time as a research assistant from June 2019 up to the present.

During the summer vacation after my senior high school graduation, I was offered the job to be a part-time research assistant in a private household. Back then, I never yearned for a job as I planned to focus on my studies as I proceeded to college. However, I told myself that I should grab the opportunity as I was hired because of the research-related awards I received during my senior high school years. Moreover, since it was still summer vacation, I wanted to try and see if I could continue even if I already had classes in college. With God’s grace and with the help of my ever-supportive boss, family, friends, and the school, I have been able to continue working part-time as a research assistant for the past two years. Also, with the help of time management, I can continually balance my academic life with my work life.

The nature of doing research work allowed me to work from home before, during, and even after this pandemic. This continues to be why such research work does not operate in a single office but in the respective private households of the owner and the part-time research assistants. Time indeed flies as I was already consulted as a research assistant for 50 clients and counting. These clients range from students doing undergraduate research, professionals completing their master’s degree, and even a few finishing their doctorate degrees. Specifically, the work that I continue to do focuses on reviewing related literature and, if time warrants, even up to the results and discussion, and making a PowerPoint presentation. It is important to note that my job does not include making an entire research paper from start to finish, as this is considered a mortal sin in conducting research. The clients, being the leading proponents in their respective studies, must be involved in the entire research process, and I am simply consulted to improve, add, remove, check, or edit researches may it be in terms of grammar, spelling, punctuation, citation, referencing, formatting, and the like.

This part-time job that I continue to do for two years and counting must not be confused with me being the former Research and Community Extension Office student assistant. I was assigned to the office after my application for a student assistant scholarship was approved. With this, I am thankful to AISAT for both the support towards working students and for allowing me to serve as the student assistant of the office mentioned above for more than a year under the leadership of my ever-loving head of office, Dr. Gerlieta Ruiz, former Research Head and Community Extension Director of the school. With the help of my part-time job, I was able to apply my learnings from my job towards my office assignment and vice versa. I am also grateful to assist fellow student-researchers, especially the graduates way back from 2020-2021 and the graduating students of the school year 2021-2022, in successfully completing their respective research. Additionally, with the help of my background doing part-time research work, I was able to assist in the completion of the institutional research of the school entitled Going Beyond the Screen: Personal Issues in Online Learning among Students by Ms. Viktorria Villamor, Marketing and Admissions Officer, and Dr. Gerlieta Ruiz.

Besides the minimal remuneration which helped my parents as I am able to pay for my own school fees, doing part-time research work continues to provide me with numerous benefits that are too many to mention. From knowledge on a multitude of topics that vary from one client over another to developing that keen eye that can see the differences in spacing on every research paper, the benefits just keep coming as I continue to discover them over time. Most importantly, this job taught me to manage my time wisely as I continue to set my priorities daily, may it be school-related, work-related, or family-related. As early as during my student life, working part-time continued to teach me to manage my work-life balance, which would benefit me in the long run. With that, a salute to all my fellow working students in AISAT and to all the other working students out there for a job well done! To the working students of the Philippines and the rest of the world, what’s your story?