What I do, day to day:
Every day is different because research is so unpredictable. Some days, I am in one lab making cathodes for batteries. Other days, I'm in a different lab constructing batteries and testing them. Sometimes I don’t even go into the lab because I need to read papers and figure out how to solve a problem. It can get busy at times, but it’s exciting to try something that has never been done before.
Last summer I did a program at the University of Maryland similar to the one I’m in now. The NSF runs programs called Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) all over the country across many disciplines to provide students with research opportunities and encourage them to pursue graduate school. My experience last summer was amazing, so I decided to apply to a few programs for this summer and I ended up at Princeton. I couldn't be happier with my decision. I’ve loved every minute so far.
Most valuable part of this experience:
Being a part of this research program is great because it completely immerses you in a research environment, taking you in and out of the lab every day. It has given me a sense of what grad school will be like and introduced me to people who have similar life goals and ambitions.
Advice for students considering internships:
Go for it. The hardest part of an internship is finding one you like and getting it, but once you are in, working and learning, it's worth all the difficulty. My research experiences have helped me figure out what I want to do after graduation and given me lifelong friends. If you are interested, just try it.
How this internship has helped me:
This research experience has given me a taste of graduate school and helped me realize that I would like to pursue a Ph.D. after graduation. I have spent a lot of time unsure of my career path, but now I really feel like I know what I want to do.
After graduating, I would like to pursue a PhD in Physics with hope to eventually work in renewable energy or become a professor.
Learn more about internships at Dickinson.
Published August 24, 2018