Final Reflection : A summer to remember

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Teresa Turmanian

I can’t believe it’s the last week! It went so fast!  We spent the last few days making finishing touches on our AutoCAD file and crafting our presentation.  Thursday we did a practice talk and Friday was the closing symposium!  It really enjoyed standing up in front of all my fellow interns and the AIP staff and showcase the exciting project I spent the last 10 weeks working on!  I want to express my gratitude to SPS and NIST for working together to make this experience possible.  

This summer felt like a major turning point in my scientific career in that I have become exponentially more confident in my communication and presentation skills.  I can remember at time when the thought of standing up in front of a room of 40 plus people and talking them through a project would have made my stomach do flips.    Not anymore!  I have experienced a complete reversal in that the things I used to fear about public speaking I now find exhilarating.   The constructive criticism and praise I have received during both my internship experiences have helped me learn what it means to be a good scientist and a good professional for that matter.  

This internship in particular has been incredibly valuable because it has helped me discern which career path is right for me is which is not.  Working on this project has shown me what the day-to-day process is like for experimental physics research. In a broader sense, being at NIST has given me the opportunity to talk to professionals in theoretical physics and engineering.  By taking the initiative to network this summer I have had discussions and made contacts that will undoubtedly be useful in the future.  Besides the strictly professional benefits, being an SPS intern has helped me grow socially.  By spending my summer with 11 other enthusiastic interns who love physics as much as I do I know that I have a place in the physics community. That feeling of belonging already has and will surely continue to empower me as I meet challenges in my life as a physicist.


Teresa Turmanian