Another Sunday at OSA

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Friday, July 20, 2018


Brigette Smith

The beginning of this week has been rather mundane. At this point in the internship I’m pretty settled into my daily routines. I know what I need to get done everyday and all the projects I have are very similar to things I’ve been doing throughout the summer. I’m shifting my focus back towards the career resource page for optics4kids and have been doing a lot of research on careers in optics and their job requirements. It’s a fun project but it is definitely a little difficult to figure out how to explain what a Ophthalmic Laboratory Technician is to kids. My current plan is to separate jobs into the categories of academia, industry, and government. The difficult part is deciding where to place certain things and figuring out how to accurately explain the difference between doing research in a national lab and doing research at a university.  I think I have built up a solid reservoir of optics related jobs though and I even asked for a little input from the OSA Ambassadors so I’m excited to see how it turns out. Now I’m trying to help get everything set up for the Second OSAF Innovation school going on next week. The Innovation School is a four-day boot-camp designed to help attendees grow as an innovator and build the skills necessary to thrive in the innovation economy. The school features several speakers and workshops that are designed to be helpful for those interested in innovation as a career. I will be helping out with the school while it is going on. I am the lucky lady who gets to come to OSA at 3 PM Sunday to help with any last minute set up and help welcome the students this year and help them find the places they need to be in. I’m actually really excited to meet the participants and be a part of the school so I don’t really mind sacrificing a little bit of my weekend. I am very much not excited for the next week though. I will be arriving each morning between 7:15 and 7:30 to help set up for breakfast and welcome participants. This one is going to be kind of hard for me as I am very much not a morning person. I am lucky enough that my work day starts at 9 AM and OSA isn’t a far walk so I don’t even get out of bed until about 7:45. You could say I’m slightly bitter about the idea of waking up so early but I also was the one who volunteered to help out so I can’t complain too much. As a whole I am very excited about next week’s innovation school. I’m lucky to get a chance to listen to the talks and attend any workshops I like also so I hope I am able to take something good away from the experience as well as meet some interesting young professionals in innovation.

Speaking of networking, I almost forgot I was able to attend the Sixth Annual Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) Fair and Reception this week as a representative for OSA. The event was hosted by the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute and had many exhibits from both private and public sector STEAM programs. I was tasked with attending the event and scoping out the exhibitors to find if there was anyone in attendance that OSA should look into collaborating with on outreach events or programs. This means I was just looking for groups whose mission was to promote STEAM Education with a higher priority on groups that were working to improve the minority population in science and introducing myself and OSA to them to try to form a relationship for future partnership. It was a really great opportunity to meet a lot of amazing and inspirational women and also really awesome to be representing OSA at an event like this. I was really proud that my supervisors trusted me to take charge on the networking event, but I guess networking is kind of my thing.  

Brigette Smith