Reflections on the Internship

People say “curiosity kills the cat,” but so far it has done nothing but help me. I completely stumbled upon this internship, and with every new opportunity that presented itself, I found myself in a state of disbelief that I had been given the chance to take part in this experience. This internship is an opportunity like no other, and has been one of the most profound experiences I have had in my life to date. I’ve learned more than I could ever ask, and I now know exactly what I want to do with my future because I have experienced what that future could entail.

Before I came to the UNH-IOL, I was uncertain about many things. I had only a vague idea of what colleges I wanted to tour, what my major in college would be, and beyond that, what I would like to do with my future. I knew I wanted my career to involve some form of Computer Science (CS), even though I was not entirely sure what the field actually entailed. I decided to look into UNH after someone suggested that it was a good school for CS. I took an informational tour of UNH before meeting with a Computer Science professor to discuss the CS program. I was impressed by the UNH campus, but still wanted more information about the Computer Science program. It was at this time that I met with Professor Radim Bartos, the Chair of the CS Department at UNH. He described how in-depth and rigorous the courses are, and highlighted the network of connections UNH has to hundreds of large companies willing to hire ambitious students in the CS field. Professor Bartos concluded our discussion by mentioning the UNH-IOL, and sent me on my way to have a tour with UNH-IOL Academic Coordinator Amy Davies. Amy informed me about the lab and the summer internship opportunity. The interactions I had with Professor Bartos and Amy astounded me. Never before had I seen a college take this level of interest in me; typically, they were trying to lure me into taking interest in them. My meeting with Professor Bartos was pivotal in changing my view of the UNH Computer Science program from a mediocre level of interest to genuine enthusiasm. Now, after taking part in this internship, I’m amazed by the number of opportunities I have been generously given, and how much the direction of my life has changed.

One of the things I enjoyed most about being at the UNH-IOL was having so much expected of me. Each week brought new challenges. By the mid-point of the internship, I had memorized facts, learned protocols, and was starting to write scripts to be used in testing. I had also become heavily involved in working on a mobile website project along with the other interns. Building this website was a massive learning experience for me. I was forced to learn many things on my own, and I was surprised at how much my fellow interns and I accomplished in a short amount of time. This website has inspired me to look further into majoring in Computer Science because I had so much fun working on this project. In fact, I am using this new knowledge to write an application for my High School to use publicly. It has been an amazing opportunity for me to apply my skills and knowledge in the real world.

In addition to the work I've done here, I have had a number of chances to explore future employment opportunities. I used to think it would be incredibly difficult to find a job after college, but throughout this internship I have heard industry contacts say how eager they are to hire, or offer internships to, students in Computer Science specifically from the UNH-IOL. Now, I am excited for the possibilities available to me. I want to have an amazing job when I'm older, I want to love what I do, and I want to do something that makes a difference in the world. Before this internship I thought that would be impossible, but now I see how working hard and doing what I love can allow me to achieve that goal. I fully plan to take advantage of what has been offered to me, and the experiences I have had, in order to become a resource for my classmates and colleagues in the future.