Pros: people are smart and friendly, great research environment
Cons: there is not much to do even you have free time
Because it is an academic research lab, everyone's schedule is different. I usually got to lab at around 7:10 am and left at 6:00, while some other people like to take night shift, or work continually (for days) until they get tired. There is no typical lunch break, weekends nor holidays in research labs.
I learned a lot of knowledge and techniques – more... in my area, but the most important thing I learned here was how to THINK, the critical skill that separates scientists and technicians.
The management of the lab is kind of casual. Everyone has their own lab job, including taking care of the orders, biohazards, equipment, etc. We have lab meeting once a week. But we can also talk to our professor about our projects, science, or even life, whenever he is available.
People are nice and helpful. We also have nice connections with other labs, using their equipment, borrowing reagents, and asking scientific questions or specific techniques.
The most difficult part here in research, well, is when you get a negative result, you still need to find out why, and carefully screen out all the possible reasons before you can confirm this is a negative result. It's frustrating sometimes. The most enjoyable part, however, is that after go through all these trouble shootings, you find out the reason and everything makes sense : ) – less