What I learned in Scotland so far #2

I’ve been in Scotland for 2 weeks now, and I have learned a few things.

Sunny days are very special and are to be treasured.

All the cars are wrong and it really messes with your head.

Scots like to “go to the pub for some pints”.

Chips are crisps and fries are chips.

Haggis is an enigma but is yummy.

When it looks like it’s about 8:30 outside, its more like 10:30.

Any bird other than a pigeon, magpie, or seagull is very exciting to see.

Biscuits are now not a southern-style bread roll you put honey or jam on.

That’s all for now.

-Chris

A NEW YORK CITY STORY #6

It has been almost a year since my last blog and I am thrilled to say that I am back at Mediavest | Spark for another eventful and inspiring summer. Instead of working in the Human Resources department this year, I have decided to broaden my horizons and join the local activation team. This is a team that works in the media buying field, dealing closely with sales representatives and clients on a daily basis. Our job is to do extensive research on where we best believe certain clients and/or products should air their advertisements, and then to negotiate with the sales reps based on the agreed budget. It has been so incredible to learn this side of the business, and I feel as though I have gained so much knowledgable information in just these past two weeks.

My favorite part about my internship this year is how I got here. During my down time last summer, I would email other interns, or entry level employees, to see if they would allow me to shadow them. This would in turn, allow me to gain a better understanding of their day-to-day’s across several different departments. As i partook in exploring other aspects of the company, I fell in love with what the local team had to offer. They worked hard at finding the best placements and pricing for their clients, through the extensive relationships they have developed and strengthened over the years. I took a job in Human Resources last year with the desire to work with people and develop strong relationships, that is not what I got in return. Although I make great connections with my team, HR is not the department where you are tending to ongoing personal relationships in order to succeed – local activation is. Keeping these relationships with both clients, sales reps, as well as other colleagues in the office, is crucial to your success in this business – and that is exactly what I was looking for in a job.

I am a people person. I love to talk and listen to individuals, and having a job that requires me to do so on a daily basis, will give me a leg up in whatever it is I have to do. Both buying and sales are departments I can see myself forming a life long career in, due to the fact that I am truly excited to get up and go to work every morning. I know it is only early on in my experience here, but I can say almost certainly that I feel it is only going to get better in the coming weeks. The most important thing I have learned from last summer to now, is that these internships we are all fortunate enough to experience, are what we make of them. If I did not take it upon myself to visit and learn about other departments, I would not be in the position I am today. Take risks, take chances, and most importantly, challenge yourself…you never know where it may take you.

Blog #1 Lets Get It Started!

I am having an eventful summer and it just began for me! At work I am having tons of fun. I work at The University of Michigan hospital and the cool thing is my research team has there own office!! My job consists of recruiting patients from the Emergency department and varies clinics within the hospital involving patients whose chief complaint is Dizziness as one of there top 3 reasons for being at the hospital. I work here Wednesdays- Fridays, on Tuesdays I work at Michigan house where I am able to recruit off the hospital site. I work along side two research coordinators and two other research assistants who are also students at the University of Michigan. I learn a lot about one on one patient interactions with this research job and I think it is really preparing me for my future career as a Doctor. This is only the beginning but I am very excited for what the future holds for me this summer!

Prose Media – Blog Post #2

My mentorship experience thus far at Prose Media has been with the CEO of the start-up, Justin Belmont, and a digital marketing specialist and colleague, John Hyslop. Although there is no formality of the mentor program, the advice and feedback both of these individuals give is rewarding on my opinion. A specific example of this occurred this past week where I did not fully satisfy the assignment to help redesign their website and I had a voice call with John to talk through what I did well, what could be improved, etc. Aside from giving simple feedback on my work, I appreciated the kind and personable conversation we had because when you think of feedback on an assignment, it usually involves some measure of aggression and potential hostility. I admire the informality of both Justin and John, they are not only friendly, but they make it seem as though I am working with college students with their laid back character. Regarding advice on pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, Justin and John both advocate starting your own business, although it is a risk, there is a rush of being able to do something that you can at the end of the day call your own, which is all that matters.

Prose Media – Blog Post #1

Working as a Marketing and Business Development Intern at Prose Media has been a fun experience thus far. I view this internship not as a fancy title to add to my resume/LinkedIn, or as a conversation icebreaker with a recruiter at a Fortune 500 company but as a learning opportunity that does not have to involve studying for/taking an exam. The CEO, Justin Belmont, who I work directly with has been not only a great mentor, but also someone awesome to talk to. As a remotely employed intern my impression prior to working for a start-up during the school year was that the CEO and all his employees would be “demanding and pushy” to meet deadlines as are with a good majority of start-ups, but that was not the case. All those impressions were wiped away during our phone conversations about Prose Media and the assignments that were given to me. Justin and his colleague, John Hyslop, who I worked with to redesign their website was not only informative, but friendly and receptive to my ideas. Although, I cannot speak to the dress code or office politics, the diversity of backgrounds uncanny and I look forward to the rest of the semester.

Location

Finding a big enough venue for Believe. Achieve. Succeed was a very difficult obstacle that we had to hurdle. After many rooms failed to work out, we were able to get the Chemistry building booked! Here are some pictures of us doing a walk through!

Blog Post #5 | Looking Forward

Having completed my internship and had some time to think over all of my experiences I know that my time at the International Rescue Committee has greatly influenced my career goals and prepared me for a field that I could likely end up in. Although working in Refugee Resettlement is not expressly considered social work in a lot of ways it resembles the field. One aspect of the internship I was not prepared for was feeling emotionally drained. Seeing up to three clients a day was great because I got to meet and learn about new people and a commonly misunderstood population, but the meetings were not without their hard conversations and problems.

Throughout my time at the IRC I was able to see at least five of the clients I worked with achieve employment, but the jobs they were got were not ones that I was particularly happy to see them being funneled into. Most clients would apply to be housekeepers, work in restaurants, or seek other entry level jobs. Although clients would be enthused most of the time they got employment, it was bittersweet knowing the ladder they would have to climb to obtain higher caliber positions. Other clients had a much more realistic picture of the job market after searching for employment. Many expressed frustration and remorse having been given a overly optimistic view of the American job market in the country they left. For many arriving in the U.S. was a rude awakening and some stated they were better off where they came from.

Even though I only worked in the office for three months I still felt emotionally drained and discouraged leaving the office throughout my time. Although that is the “nature” of the work, I found myself doubting the prospect of continuing work in the field of social work or non-profits because of the sheer heaviness of the work that is done. Now, having had the chance to reflect on my internship I don’t feel as disheartened. My internship provided me with one of the most meaningful experiences in my life thus far, but additionally reminded me that society is flawed and problems can’t be fixed overnight. Though I now see Refugee Resettlement in the U.S. as a flawed process, it is better to reflect on these issues and deal with the emotional aspects than cut yourself off. These heavy subjects demand attention and hopefully that attention can lead to concrete improvements in the system.

Goodbye Japan | Blog #5

I’m back!

Before I delve into what I spent the final week of my internship doing, I wanted to give a brief summary of the KOTO experiment. If you don’t recall, the KOTO experiment is an international endeavor to measure the rare K-Long -> Pi-zero Nu Nubar particle decay in order to compare experimental measurements with the predictions given by our current understanding of particle physics. A couple times a year, the different groups from around the world meet in person to discuss important developments concerning the project at a three-day event called the Collaboration Meeting. I attended this meeting in order to give a presentation that detailed the upgrades currently happening to the project’s data acquisition system (DAQ). While the development of the DAQ primarily occurs at the University of Michigan (where my internship was located), the actual data taking is done in Japan at the J-PARC facility. As such, the Collaboration Meeting was held in Japan and I received a wonderful opportunity to travel outside the country!

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Welcome to Japan

 

After a long 12-hour flight and a 3-hour bus ride, I finally arrived at my destination, the small village of Tokai-mura. My first impressions? Japan is not America. Painfully simplistic, I’m aware, but there were just so many differences that it’s hard to concisely and accurately describe the variations between the two. The architecture of the houses and the way the roads zigzagged across the land,  the day-to-day interactions with people, and of course the local cuisine were all very different from America (Tokai in particular is by an ocean, so a lot of my meals consisted of fresh fish).

Compared to other places I’ve been, Tokai has an interesting quality to it. Dotted with crop fields and containing various parks and temples, the town feels bustling with nature – which at times can make it easy to forget that it also contains a half mile long particle beam. While it’s standard practice to build facilities that produce radioactive materials far away from highly populated areas, I couldn’t help but think of the weird duality this creates. On one side, Tokai represents some of mankind’s greatest technological and scientific advancements, along with our growing ability to probe the nature of the universe; on the other hand – a few blocks away from J-PARC you might be biking through a rice paddy at sunrise next to a soaring swan (at least it looked like a swan).

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One of the various temples in Tokai

 

Of course, the purpose of my visit wasn’t to see Tokai-mura but to learn more about the KOTO experiment. As such, part of my trip was spent seeing the facility that houses the particle beam. When I entered the building, the first sight that greeted me was a giant chasm filled with all manner of construction equipment and electronic doodads. Maybe I’ve seen one too many James Bond movies but my initial impression was that the facility looked more like a typical villain’s lair than expected.

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Anyone else thinks it looks lair?

 

Seeing the main-barrel didn’t help with my initial impressions either. The main-barrel is a big, blue vacuum-sealed chamber where the K-Long -> Pi-zero Nu Nubar decay occurs. To give a sense of its scale, it has a diameter of about feet 10 and is roughly 20 feet long, so big in fact that I couldn’t get a proper full-body picture of it.

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The Main Barrel

 

The next day, the Collaboration Meeting began. At first I was a little nervous to give my presentation; the entire audience was not only more educated than me but also had more experience with KOTO. Fortunately, my presentation was scheduled for the second day of the conference, giving me time to examine and learn from others. After internalizing my mentor’s famous words, “Remember – you’re the expert,” I was able to shake my initial nervousness and get into the swing things (even managing to a have a few of my jokes land).

 

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That’s me, way in the back

 

For my final day in Japan, I woke up early in order to bike around Tokai. The morning was quiet and the air nice and crisp, a perfect time to gather my thoughts about the past few months with the KOTO project. Because of this internship – I learned how to code, I learned useful organizational skills, and I learned how to effectively work on a team. Skills that will prove useful as I continue studying physics.

I send my thanks to Myron Campbell, for accepting me onto the team (despite my limited experience in coding) and being my mentor this internship. I thank my various KOTO co-workers for being a pleasure to work with. I thank the LSA Internship Program for allowing me to share my experiences with all of you.

 

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And thank you for reading this blog!

 

Joshua R.

 

Bye California, Hello Ann Arbor! #5

As my internship came to an end I sat at my desk homesick and ready to leave California and never come back! Of course that’s a stretch because I’d love to go back just not at all in the month of September or October, maybe when Michigan weather starts to get really cold. If you would’ve told me when I boarded that plane for Los Angeles I would’ve learned more about myself than anything else this summer I wouldn’t believe you. Internships are about gaining experience in the professional world, how exactly will I learn the most about myself. As a 19 year old woman I thought I knew myself but moving to the other side of the country alone for a couple months taught me more about myself than the last couple years of my life.

I spent time in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Tahoe and The Bay Area. I made it a point to see different things and learn all that I could about the marketing field. I have gained so many connections with executives to human resource departments and other interns.  Working directly with the CEO of the company and working with a professional basketball team I gained knowledge about many different fields. I learned that I enjoy going to sleep early, working out became fun, I learned it was possible to cook breakfast lunch and dinner for myself daily and that I may not be the most disciplined young woman but when I put my mind to something nothing can stop me. I learned living in California is expensive and grocery bags AREN’T FREE. Most importantly I learned what I want to do in life is attainable and no matter what people say my dreams are not too big to become my reality. I enjoyed my internship and grew to love my field and received an offer to return next summer for a higher position. Getting my foot in the door was my goal but I may have found my own. Being the youngest person by 5 years in every professional setting this summer I realized that Michigan has put me in a position to be ahead of the game. I feel like I’m on track to do great things and this summer showed me that.

I can’t wait to see what this school year has in store for me and what next summer’s internship will show me! I couldn’t be more grateful to those who helped make this experience real for me. Bye California, Hello Ann Arbor!

The Last Reflection, Blog Post #5

Just this week, I finally wrapped up my summer internship at the Biomedical Research Center here at Michigan. To say the least, it was one of the most influential experiences of my life, in that it gave me the deepest look at the world of biomedical research. To think that earlier this past year, I had no idea what it meant to “genotype,” or what goes into immunofluorescence staining just goes to show how much an internship can open your eyes.

I am most grateful to my P.I. and the graduate students in the lab who everyday taught me something new about the techniques and biological concepts involved in outlining and then conducting certain experiments. The way my P.I., who also works as a graduate school professor of cell and developmental biology here at the University, would stay after hours to clear up any confusing concepts for me or teach me how to dissect mouse olfactory epithelium (for fun, even!), really showed me how generous this lab was. And for that I am truly so thankful. The whole experience, actually, went further than just increasing my passion for biomedical research—it made me realize that ultimately I would love to be able to teach the fundamental concepts of genetics and biochemistry to dedicated students one day.

My weekly sit-ins on practice prelims of the graduate students, thesis defenses, and lab meetings gave me a chance to see what the journey will be like to one day get to the place that the graduate students are in now. But I really am excited about it all! This school year, I will be continuing my research of the Hedgehog pathway of the mouse olfactory epithelium in the lab I am currently in. Furthermore, I may go on to take on a new project that is somehow related to neurogenesis. Through it all, it will be the literal techniques and fundamental concepts I have learned throughout this summer that will help guide me. And it is the generosity of the P.I. and graduate students that I have worked with that has without a doubt inspired me to believe in how far I can go as long as I am never afraid to ask questions, collaborate, and think beyond.