Week 10: So long, and thanks for all the Summer

Share This:

Thursday, August 11, 2022


Divyansh Chamria

It’s a bit of a strange feeling, writing this blog from my dorm in Hamilton, NY, instead of Amsterdam Hall. I had definitely become very used to life in D.C., and having all the other interns around. The last week went by in no time, even though we did quite a bit.

At work, I mostly wrapped up everything, and spent the first few days of the week cataloguing and saving data. I also had a couple of very productive and helpful conversations with Sujitra, and would like to thank her for being an amazing mentor! I spent quite a bit of my time editing my slides and preparing for my presentation, especially since Taylor C. and I had to do a trial run in front of our division on Wednesday. This was also our last day at work, and it definitely felt weird leaving without my badge that day. 

Outside of NIST, I think we all tried to spend as much time with each other as possible, once again. The week started off with our final DnD session: Lincoln Memorial edition. Apart from the bugs, this was our most fun session yet, and we ended on a cliffhanger so the story will hopefully continue at some point. On Tuesday, I ended up going out to Georgetown on my own to do a bit of shopping, and finally had a good bowl of ramen in D.C. I would recommend Kintaro if you’re ever in the area. On Wednesday night, I finalized my presentation after getting a lot of good feedback from Valeria and Matangi, and prepared for our rehearsal on Thursday. The rehearsal went very well, and I only had to make minor changes. Some of the highlights from Thursday include listening to others’ presentations, hacky duck, Physics jeopardy, and the incredibly well stocked coffee station at ACP. Thursday at Amsterdam was a bit hectic, with everyone scrambling to pack the SPS Intern boxes, finish food and pack their own stuff. Overall, it was a fun night, and I made final changes to my presentation.

I got up early on Friday to make sure everything was okay, and dressed up for my first formal presentation. It was a bit intimidating at first, but I think that every single presentation went really well, and it was actually really fun to learn about everyone else’s work during the presentation. The symposium was also really good at showing how varied each intern’s work this summer was, even though they all end up tying back to Physics. After saying our goodbyes to people at ACP, I got some great pictures taken and headed back to Amsterdam. A lot of people were leaving today, and a lot had already left. Brad joined us for a final happy hour at Quigley’s which was great. Friday night at Amsterdam was filled with many goodbyes. Even though everyone was tired, we all convened back at consignment, played some games and just talked. It was the last time we would be together for a bit, so nobody really wanted to leave.

Over the last 10 weeks, I met some amazing people, and those people quickly became close friends. It was strange to go from seeing everyone almost every day, to being scattered all over the country in the course of a couple of days. I already miss everyone quite a lot even though it’s only been a few days, and I especially miss the Car Conversations™ with the NIST interns every day. I am looking forward to going to PhysCon to see everyone again, and I cannot wait for October to roll by. Thank y’all for an incredible summer!

This was undoubtedly the best summer I have had since I started college, not only in terms of the fun I had, but also because of how impactful it ended up being. Meeting so many people from very different backgrounds was kind of new for me after freshman year of college, and I learned a lot because of it. All the conversations I had with mentors, people at SPS, and the other interns helped me solidify that I want to continue pursuing a career where I can do research. I was unsure about this before the summer, because I had only ever worked in my university, and did not know what it was like outside. Working in a federal laboratory and getting acquainted with a different style of doing research was very rewarding. This summer helped rejuvenate and reinforce my appreciation for both Physics and the community that it can come with.

I would like to thank Brad, Mikayla, Kayla, Andrew and everyone else at SPS for being so thoughtful about all the interns. Everyone was placed in positions with mentors that were related to what they were interested in, and all the events throughout the summer were great bonding experiences. I would highly recommend applying in case you are considering the program, or just thinking about a career in Physics. I would also like to thank Sujitra, my mentor, as well as Andrew and Ory in Sujitra’s lab for being great sources of help and support at NIST, and for making it a very enjoyable and educational experience for me. Of course, I cannot thank all the other interns enough for making the summer so much fun with all the events, potlucks and conversations. I cannot wait to see everyone again!


Signing off,

Divyansh Chamria