I was attracted to APL because of the diversity of cutting edge research areas that the Lab is known for. I’m interested in spacecraft engineering, and APL’s Space Department has sent a spacecraft or instrument to every planet in the solar system. APL is a major contributor to solar system exploration with robotic spacecraft--a big interest of mine. I’m working in the Space System Applications Group which provides system engineering support and technical structure to the space system development process through concept, production, and operations.
Most of the things that I have learned relate to the design and operation of reliable space systems. I have also gotten to experience how scientists and engineers collaborate to meet the requirements and constraints of each other.
I have been surprised by how approachable supervisors and project managers are despite having very busy schedules. They’re very supportive of me and my interests. Often a task may seem larger or more complicated than I think I can handle, but I am able to find a lot of support and guidance from my mentors and supervisors. They provide oversight to my work and love to answer my questions, but generally allow me to take handle the task in the way I see best.
APL is a great place to intern. Between 100 and 200 interns from many different college and universities are here this summer. It’s easy to find people your age to get to know. Also, interns at APL get to do unique tasks that are critical to mission or program success.