Final Reflections: Applying my skills and knowledge

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Monday, August 26, 2013


Jose "Ro" Avila

Until this summer, I could not imagine what a summer internship would look like. Especially a summer internship in the capital of the United States working along with the American Institute of Physics and the Society of Physics Students (SPS). I was new to all the processes required to get to my summer place of work and live in a city I had only visited a couple times. But I am the type of person for who there’s no going back once I accept to live a new experience. You made a decision like this because something in you wants to live that adventure, and so I believe you must follow the decision with all the consequences and learning experiences it brings. Of course I was anxious about this internship, and I knew I was going to meet a lot of people, I knew I would need to catch on to a new rhythm of work, to get accustomed to my boss’s expectations, and I knew I was going to be very busy. However, the best part of the “not knowing” aspect of it was that I, for sure, did not know was how much fun I would have, how many great people I would be working and living with, how important and useful the resources I would help develop would be for physics undergraduates and other students, and what a great experience I would take away from this opportunity.

Through this internship, I learned how to apply my physics skills and knowledge to develop resources that I was not very familiar with, but which I knew were important for students going into the workforce. I had heard about some of career preparation topics in school, but never went into as much detail as I did this summer; I researched these topics, I talked to people about them, I heard and analyzed ideas, I rewrote resources several times, and finally I got them reviewed by my mentors and bosses. I think the overall contribution I provided will be very helpful first of all and primarily to students looking for a job; to undergraduate students that are undecided on their major; and to career services centers in universities that can use these resources as recruiting tools to draw more students towards the fields of Physics and STEM.

There was so much I took away from this summer internship with SPS. The friends and contacts I made will be so important for my future plans, since we share the same interests, we shared some of the same experiences, we worked, lived, and learned about each other, and of course we have the basic thing that brought us together: PHYSICS.

Thanks for reading!

Jose "Ro" Avila