2013 Summer Reflections: Jose Avila

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2013 Summer Reflections: Jose Avila

Building Connections Through Internships


Jose Avila, 2013 AIP Career Pathways Project intern

King College

Ro Avila watches fireworks on the Fourth of July from the National Mall. Photo courtesy of Ro Avila.
At the beginning of the summer I could not imagine what my internship in the capital of the United States, working with the American Institute of Physics (AIP) and SPS, was going to be like. I knew I was going to meet a lot of people. I knew I would need to catch on to a new rhythm of work and get accustomed to my boss’s expectations. I knew I was going to be very busy.

But I, for sure, did not know how much fun I would have—how many great people I would be working and living with, how important and useful the project I worked on would be for physics undergraduates and other students, and what a great experience I would take away from this opportunity.

I learned how to apply my physics skills and knowledge to the AIP Career Pathways Project, which develops resources for students going into the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce. I had heard about career preparation in school but had never gone into as much detail as I did this summer. I researched related topics and talked to people about them, I analyzed ideas, I rewrote resources several times, and finally, I had them reviewed by my mentors and bosses.

I think my contribution will help students looking for a job, as well as undergraduate students undecided on their major. Career services centers in universities can use the resources as recruiting tools to draw more students to physics and STEM.

There was so much I took away from this summer internship with SPS. The friends and contacts I made will be very important for my future plans. We shared the same interests and some of the same experiences as we worked and lived together and learned about each other. And, of course, we all share one fundamental interest: PHYSICS. //

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