Participate in classes and get to know your professors (yes, that means even developing friendships with them). Then it turns out to be easy to become part of their research group. Every professor needs help in his research. Don't be hesitant to begin with small menial tasks. (Dr. Ensign often reminded me that his first experiences in research involved cleaning manure from test tubes.) Then become involved with more challenging projects. Research provides hands-on experience in your field of study. Additionally, the concepts discussed in class suddenly become real and applicable. A researcher learns to think individually and apply knowledge in ways that are often missed in traditional classes.