Week 6: Feeling Independent

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Monday, July 16, 2018


Collin Flynn

By far the most exciting week so far. This week we had two tours, the first one Brigette took us through the Optical Society of America (OSA). We got the chance to meet with the CEO and some other important people from OSA. Danielle, our intern coordinator, also gave us a very beneficial presentation about grad school and jobs out of undergrad to prepare us for the real world.

A couple days later we had our second tour, an all-day tour lead by Sarah and Sam which took us through the offices of the senate and the house as well as Capitol Hill. Sarah had us sit in on a hearing on artificial intelligence and big data. I knew this hearing would be interesting, but interesting is an understatement. I left that hearing with a whole new perception on AI. Midway through the talk, we snuck out to meet senator Foster who, as far as I know, is the only politician with a PhD in physics. After the talk finished we got to meet all the “big wig” scientists who had been invited to speak at the hearing.

Sam took us on our tour of Capitol hill after the hearing and going through all of the offices. We got to ride the train from the senate to Capitol hill thanks to his boss Senator Duckworth. Sam had prepared a bunch of fun facts for us as we walked through, well everywhere. I had been on a tour through capital hill about 8 years ago, but Sam’s tour was so much better. You would’ve thought this kid was born in the Capitol for every little factoid he knew.

My work week was exciting too! This week was the first week that I didn’t feel dependent on my mentor. It has felt like I have been learning new things everyday and haven’t been able to start anything without asking someone first. This week was different, I was able to be independent, running tests to identify the best carbon nanotube source to generate electrons.­ When you get it, it’s a great feeling knowing “I got this.”

Oh and by the way, made it to the zoo last weekend! :)


Coming back from the zoo

Collin Flynn