Internship, Co-op or Research Site:Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Position Title: Software Engineering Intern
Major(s)/Minor(s):Mathematical Statistics Major, Computer Science / Judaic Studies Minor
Work Term:Summer 2018, Winter 2019
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
At my internship, I work to develop computer algorithms for a graph analytics platform that helps to detect anomalies in big data. In the past, I wrote code in Java that helped researchers analyze a biopharmaceutical dataset that dealt with patients who are suffering from schizophrenia, in the hopes that better data analysis tactics could help determine which single nucleotide polymorphisms correlated most heavily with the disease. Currently, I am writing code that helps analyze data taken from NAVAIR flights in order to help determine the cause of certain cases of hypoxia and other illnesses experienced when pilots embark on flights.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
I first heard about the possibility of an internship with the Applied Physics Laboratory from my grandfather, who worked there in the past. In the spring of my junior year of high school, I applied to their ASPIRE high school internship program, and luckily got accepted. After completing the internship during my senior year of high school, I got hired back as a college intern for the summer, and have been going back between semesters ever since.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
I have really enjoyed meeting and networking with coworkers that have master's and doctorate level experience in the fields that I am interested in. I have been able to gain valuable insight from them regarding the undergraduate and graduate college experience required to work at such a place as the Applied Physics Laboratory. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working alongside the full-time staff to solve challenging problems that require innovative solutions. The Applied Physics Laboratory also has a variety of events geared specifically at interns, so my experience was filled with fun activities that made me feel like I belonged there.
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I think that I have written long-lasting code that researchers at the Applied Physics Laboratory can use for years to come on multiple other projects. I have also helped synthesize new datasets and use them to draw significant conclusions, which helps further the missions of the projects that I was working on. Additionally, I believe that I have brought positivity and enthusiasm to the workplace, which has brightened my coworkers' moods.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Don't be dissuaded if you find out that your internship isn't what you thought it was. Give it your all anyways, and if you don't like it, move on to a different career focus. Internships are as much about finding what you DON'T like as they are about finding what you DO like.
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