Reflection: A Summer of Growth

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Monday, August 26, 2013


Darren McKinnon

It's officially been over a month since I left DC. As I lose myself in another semester of school, I think back on my internship with fond memories. I honestly feel that my entire mindset was changed because of it. The exposure to life as a researcher was, in my opinion, incredible.

Along the way I learned a large number of skills. I learned to code in IDL. I learned to work with Hubble data. I improved my poster creation and presentation skills. However, these things pale in comparison to what I feel was the true "moral" to my summer story. I learned the power of networking and collaboration. I learned that no matter what age, you may have a wonder for the stars. I learned that even successful, brilliant scientists can be so down to earth, while their heads are in the heavens.

I am continuing to work on the project that I began while I was at Goddard. It's a friendly, refreshing reminder of the fun I had this summer. The work looks to be hard, and it's a bit more difficult now that I can't just wander down the hall, ask a question, and get an incredible story along with my answer. Instead I must now resort to email. However, the work is still exciting.

Some of the fondest memories of summer come from outside of work though. The other interns were fantastic, and we made sure to enjoy our summer together. It was so intriguing how quick we all were to be friends, when we had known each other for such little time. It seemed like we spent so much time together, but now upon reflection, it seems the summer ended far too soon.

All in all, I can't complain about this last summer. I entertained a growth of knowledge and experience; one without rival in my history of summers. These are memories I will forever be fond of, and skills that I will often put to use.

Thanks for the great summer.

Darren McKinnon