Wondering what to do this summer? Get inspired by other Gauchos who took on summer experiences!
Name: Dana Yuen
Major: Mechanical Engineering, 3rd year
Employer: Nothrop Grumman
- Briefly describe a typical day at your internship/research/volunteer experience, such as the type of training you received or project you worked on. Any highlights or favorite moments?
Throughout my internship I worked as support for the MIRI Cryocooler of the James Webb Space Telescope. As part of that project what I did from day to day would vary from learning about the verification process for systems engineering to working in the control room helping with testing and creating charts based on the data we gathered.
- How did this experience help you to explore and prepare for your career goals? (i.e. consider the biggest take-away(s) or skills from the experience that will help you in the future; or valuable connections you made along the way).
It was super useful to be able to talk to professionals within the industry; not just for the connections, but also to hear about how they got into their positions and receive advice on life after graduation. I learned that I didn’t necessarily need to choose between grad school and going straight into the workforce as a lot of companies will help pay for you to get a higher degree!
- What did you learn most about yourself or about the position that you did not know before after taking part in it?
A surprising thing I learned during my internship was that your major in college does not affect the breadth of job options as much as I thought. Just because I am majoring in engineering does not mean that I’ll be designing, calculating, and coding for the rest of my life. This is also applicable to other majors as well! It’s nice to know that even though you maybe be studying a narrow discipline at the moment, your options after college are what you make of them.
- What 1-2 pieces of advice would you give to fellow Gauchos to help them find and apply to this specific internship/research/volunteer position?
To get an internship the biggest piece of advice would just be to apply. As simple as that may sound, there’s no way that you’ll get any offers if you don’t put yourself out there and the more you do so, the better chance you have at landing an internship. Specifically for the internship I had, I think it helped that I had a fair amount of prior project experience and was able to passionately talk about those when I talked to recruiters.