A graduate student recently contacted us with this question. She said she completed the sim in about 3-4 hours, but felt that she could have spent more time to make it better.
I am asked this question a lot and I usually give the unsatisfying answer, “it depends”. We designed the job sims so the tasks can be completed in approximately 3-8 hours. However, depending on factors like how much time you have, and your reason for doing the sim (whether you’re doing the sim for a class assignment, in preparation for an internship interview, or simply shopping around for a job area to start investing time in). I typically suggest spending 3-4 hours, but encourage grad students and postdocs to spend as much time as they want. One research associate created two different slide decks for deliverables, because she wanted to apply the knowledge to different analyses.
If you find that you want to delve deeper or do more, that’s a great indication that you’re interested in the field. If you find that the exercise didn’t gel for you, or that you lost interest, that’s okay, too. It’s important to consider which tasks you like and which ones you don’t. Move on and experiment with a different career area.