The Tears Start Coming and They Don't Stop Coming

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Monday, August 20, 2018


Brigette Smith

I am writing this as I sit on my balcony in Bangkok overlooking the most beautiful vegetation I have seen in my life. It’s a dream come true to be living in and exploring Thailand and yet as I reflect on this summer I can’t help but feel a deep sadness and longing to be back in Washington DC with the amazing individuals I was able to share this internship with. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by such driven and intelligent people; I have never felt more inspired.


This summer I learned a lot at the Optical Society. I learned all about the logistics of running outreach programs, membr tracking, how program grants work, and creating media content for outreach. I realized that there is so much more that goes into it than I ever thought there would be. It really helped prepare me for putting together outreach events in the future and gave me a little more insight into the process behind large scale events. The most valuable thing I learned though was about the importance of networking and communications. I learned about making connections and how these can help you moving forward in life and open new doors for you. I learned a lot about the importance of crafting your message and making sure that you communicate effectively exactly what you want to say. As someone who has been studying almost exclusively science and mathematics for the last few years communication is something I definitely struggle with quite a bit. This summer I did my best to meet as many people as I could and get advice on how to grow these skills and learn about their paths in life and how they came to be where they are. This opened my eyes to so many potential avenues going forward that I had never even considered.


Aside from the things my actual job taught me, the things I have gained from this internship has been invaluable. I’ve learned so much about professionalism and preparing for a career but also I got the chance to know so many wonderful people. I gained so many amazing friends that I am so lucky to have had the chance to meet in my lifetime. The people in this internship this year were truly amazing in every single way. I have never met people who have so much ambition and are so hard working. Seeing the things these people have accomplished in their lifetime inspired me to work so much harder on my own projects. More so, I have never been surrounded by such an uplifting group. Everyone wanted only to encourage and support everyone else. There were many times I had the interns look over my work and asked for suggestions for revisions or asked them for help with a part of a project I was unsure about. We really became a family and leaving them was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve been through. I will forever be grateful for all of the memories, late night life talks, laughter, and adventures we shared.


It is with the heaviest heart that I end this last blog with this message for the 2018 interns:


To all of you, thank you sincerely for the best summer of my life. I know each of you will go on to do extraordinary things and I can’t wait to see the impact you will have on this world.

Brigette Smith