Week #10: Releasing the brakes.

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Friday, August 11, 2017


Francisco Ayala Rodriguez

The time has come to look back and learn from all that we have been through and share it for the future interns. What started 10 weeks ago, concluded with the Intern symposium as we all shared our progress and achievements of the summer. One last week of amazing experiences and unforgettable moments that gave me a great closure for the summer.

My last adventures in Washington D.C included a visit to the library of congress and a search for the original Star-Spangled Banner. With these two, I concluded my list of places to visit while being on Washington D.C. Both are full of history and surely remark the importance of having a clear idea of the history behind who we really are. I want to thank Constance Carter for the opportunity to know more about the wonders that history can provide to science.

With the clock ticking right behind my ears, the final details of the project where covered and polished. Some last-minute changes had to be made, but we manage to put them together and solve minor issues. It all worked out right for the final presentation. Even though I was nervous about it, I enjoyed sharing what I did in the summer as much as I enjoyed sharing my experiences through these blogs.

Following the presentation, I had an opportunity to share some final thoughts with my mentors. We talked about how the project grew this summer and what would be the next steps. I believe that this project will work as a test for what could be a new approach on how to communicate and share the wonders of physics.

I am grateful to all the effort of the SPS to put together this amazing opportunity, as well as the APS for receiving me with their arms open. I am excited to see what both organizations will be up to on the upcoming years as they grow and expand their frontiers. For those of you reading this as a reference to decide whether to apply for this program or not: I encourage you to do it and live this rewarding experience in company of what I am sure will become friends and partners of a lifetime. Don’t hesitate to contact me at fayalarodriguez96 [at] outlook.com for help and tips for the internship.

From what I learned this summer there is a list of tips to keep in mind for upcoming internships:

1.- Share your progress with your peers: Never be afraid of sharing your thoughts with others, explore new ideas and be open to different perspectives. Group brainstorming and peers feedback make a huge difference on the results. This includes both inside and outside of your workplace. Be eager to learn from others and apply that knowledge to improve your progress.

2.- Networking will take you places: Don’t be shy to approach and befriend anyone who comes across in your way. One of the most wonderful things to do is to touch other people’s lives. And sometimes, more than just touching it, you can find someone to work along for a greater good. If you ever need someone with a specific set of skills is always good to know where to start looking for them. On the other hand, you never know if someone out there is looking for a person with your abilities.

3.- Keep a plan in mind, but be open to changes and opportunities: Some things must be planned and others will pop up as you go on. Don’t hesitate to make a timeline of your project along with other activities you want to attend to. This will give you an idea of how to manage your time as those other events pop up in your way.

4.-Trust me when I tell you… “Details matter”: Both in the work and out of it, details will be vital. Covering and fixing details is one of the most time consuming things when we talk about projects. Keep that in mind as you move forward and make sure to look back from time to time to fix them. Out of the work, don’t forget to look for meaningful details around you as time passes by. Noticing how the sky there differs from how you see it back at home is something you will only appreciate while being there. Make the most out of your experience by being aware of simple things that make a difference. After all, little details make an experience meaningful and worth living.

5.-Let go of your brakes: Opportunities like this don’t appear that often in life. Let go of your burdens and move forward without fear. Don’t be afraid to question everything, to try new things, to approach people, and to push yourself to see how far you can get. You’ll never know what could have been if you never try.

That been said, this concludes my final thoughts on this summer experience. It has been a pleasure to work along with SPS, APS, and the other interns this whole summer. Thank you all for being part of it and make it an unforgettable experience. I look forward to see what is in our future and meet again to share great experiences. Until then, take care and remember:

“Great journeys in life start by releasing the brakes.”


Don’t be shy...
...to approach...
...and befriend...
...anyone who...
...comes across...
...in your way.
I'll see you in march!!! Thanks for everything!!!

Francisco Ayala Rodriguez