I worked in the Sensor Science group (RSS) of the Milton Eisenhower Research Center MERC. My group’s research centers around detection and characterization of chemicals, biological samples, metals--you name it. It’s a place where chemical engineering, material science, and even pure biology can mesh comfortably.
The work opportunities are much more varied than I had imagined. This allows for very qualified individuals in an intellectually creative environment- -a great combination. At APL you have the ability to contact the researcher you would like to work with in advance and see what opportunities they may have for you. Having that guided direction makes other internships seem more like just a summer job.
I’ve seen how common it is for people from different areas to come together to work on a project. It’s nice to see how each person brings their particular strength to the table, and as a whole the group works as a well-oiled machine.
I like that at APL you are surrounded by a diverse sampling of people, but all like-minded in their professionalism. I’ve learned more about the interface between the science industry and its sponsors. Also, I was surprised by the amount of freedom, and thus responsibility, that I was given as an intern. My supervisors were very capable of gauging what tasks I could excel at unaccompanied.
I really took advantage of the number of clubs and fitness activities offered here. It’s been easy to meet new people; everyone has been very approachable.
My supervisors very much speak to me as a peer. They’ve gone beyond the scope of the job by exposing me to skill sets I can use in labs at school or even a future career.