As the end of summer approaches, my responsibilities at the KOTO particle experiment have been slowing down. Consequently, this week most of my time has been spent working on (drum roll please) a power point presentation! The presentation is for an upcoming meeting that will be held out of the country; normally, the various groups that comprise KOTO share updates through conference calls, however a couple times a year we all meet in person at an event dubbed the Collaboration Meeting. My presentation at the Collaboration Meeting will be a summary of the progress the Michigan team has made in regard to upgrading the system that collects the project’s experimental data.
Summarizing the work of the Michigan team got me thinking about all the interesting people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting because of my internship. One aspect of the workforce that I enjoy is simply the variety of people that I’m able to get to know. Here, there are grads, undergrads, post-docs, researchers, and professors – people who just recently entered college and people who have had careers longer than the entirety of my life. I enjoy seeing these different personalities, perspectives, and skills complement each other as we solve problems and work toward a goal. For example, there are times when I’m struggling with finding a solution to a problem that to my co-worker seems obvious, and sometimes it’s the reverse.
Another advantage is the wealth of practical career knowledge the older members of the team are able to share with me – tips about giving presentations, what opportunities I should seek to progress my career, and more. Plus, it’s always a thought-provoking day when one of my co-workers tell me about an exciting life-changing experience they went through (ever heard a first hand account about life in Antarctic).
That is one aspect of this internship I thoroughly enjoy.