Week 3: A Networking Extravaganza

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Sunday, June 18, 2023


Devin Kodsi

The clock continues to tick, memories continue to be made, and the time for reflection has once again come about. In comparison to my past intern blogs and to shake things up, I won’t necessarily relate my day-to-day tasks and adventures in detailed chronological order. Variety is of course the spice of life, but I’d like to believe that these blog posts should reflect the diverse range of experiences I have undertaken. And with that, the long-awaited Week 3 reflection shall commence!


Within the realm of work, this week has involved a significant amount of time in the seemingly simple yet detailed-oriented task of updating each of the graphs presented on the company’s website. In addition to updating the data based on the new 2021 and STEM numbers, I have also spent some time helping reform and rebrand the data sets so that the information is more of what some might call aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Now, I realize how this might sound like more and more tedious work throughout each week, progressively increasing in its level of both difficulty and laboriousness. However, I have undoubtedly found a sense of fulfillment in checking off each graph I complete from my mental to-do list (no need to worry, I have everything written down as well just in case my mental to-do list fails me). My mentor has been extremely supportive in these ongoing endeavors of updating and cleaning the data, and we are hoping to finish this updating-based phase of the internship by the end of June. More news to come with that! 


More juicy details of my work can be found below if you so desire. If you intend to scroll through to the sections with more adventures, photos, etc, I honestly don’t blame you and wholeheartedly respect your decision. 


This week also involved the continuation of my separate STEM project mentioned in my Week 2 blog (if you have no idea what I am talking about, make sure to go back to the second paragraph of my previous blog!). With my mentor’s help, I was able to complete a comparison of the old vs. new STEM bachelor’s degrees obtained by women, and we intend to make further comparisons in the realms of race and ethnicity. I am continuing to use Excel’s magic to determine the distribution of numbers across the new STEM classification (ultimately in an attempt to better understand the spread of new majors included in the field), and I hope that the wonders of pivot tables will allow me to reach deeper conclusions by the start of the week. Furthermore, my mentor shared several readings to help provide context for the data I am observing throughout my internship role. Ranging from ideas such as critical race theory to the underrepresentation of women in many fields, such readings will help me continuously make attempts at understanding the why behind the data rather than mindlessly sorting through it.


And now, a description of this week’s adventures awaits!



The creation of new and lasting memories was certainly upheld by this week’s events. Monday night featured an attempt to host another video game night, but little did we know that we didn’t have the necessary equipment (a USB to HDMI converter) to carry out our plans. Thus, we decided to spend the rest of the evening watching entertaining shows on Max and destressing from the workday. 


Now, remember how I said at the beginning that I might slightly skip around the events of the week? Well, I will be applying such methodologies to this part of the blog, where Tuesday and Thursday nights featured wonderful networking receptions with amazing free food. Specifically, Tuesday evening involved a D.C. gathering for members and fellows of the Blackburn Institute based out of the University of Alabama. I mention such an organization in my bio, but it essentially serves to help create leaders and agents of change for both the state and the nation. Moreover, it represents a large community of individuals devoted to helping make their communities a better place. At the reception, I was able to meet a variety of current students, fellows, and executive members who shared a wide range of advice and experiences. It was such a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of while in the city! Ironically, Thursday night involved a similar networking setup for the SPS interns. Located at Present Company Public House (a dining experience I would recommend to any tourist or D.C. native), the interns were able to meet about a dozen executive members and past interns of the program. Ranging discussions from current research in the physics field to detailing my time playing trombone, I once again was able to create meaningful conversations and connections through such an opportunity. Oh, and before I forget, Wednesday featured a fun reggae night by “The Wharf,” where interns played both cornhole and big-blocked Jenga by the beautiful sunset. Hump Day certainly had a spectacular close this week. 



I might be a bit biased in saying this, but my favorite part of the week had to be the weekend. This was not just because of the inherent nature of the weekend but was due to my traveling up to Boston to see the one and only Seina (if you had forgotten from my last blog, there’s a cute description of our relationship in paragraph eight). Upon arriving around 9:30 pm on Friday, we couldn’t help ourselves from ordering late-night pizza to celebrate our second span of time together for the summer. Saturday and Sunday were quite a whirlwind of exciting events, involving a visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the New England Aquarium, and the famous Tik-Tok Mortadella Head restaurant. As you might be able to observe, Siena is quite fond of sea turtles. I have to say that there is no one I’d rather watch three of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies with (which is of course what we did).



Week 4, here we come!

Devin Kodsi