It’s been an adjustment process for students, faculty, and staff transitioning to life online. Internships are no exception! In this series, we’re going in-depth with UChicago students about their remote internships. Over the course of the summer, I asked four friends with different majors and career paths to answer a few questions about their experiences.
Sam (me): What type of organization are you working for/which organization are you working for?
Ryan: A research lab!
S: What is your internship role?
R: I work in a professor's lab at the University of Hong Kong. The project that we are working on is one part of a global effort to identify the gaps in the observational range of the current working observatories and equipment. We’re hoping to figure out what kinds of satellites or other projects would be the most influential to build next.
S: What does a typical day look like?
R: There is not a whole lot of consistency in my day-to-day (or week-to-week work), but I work with an orbital observatory called NuSTAR. Essentially, I process data from this satellite in order to create useful scientific information, such as spectral analyses.
S: What are the difficulties of performing your internship online? What are the advantages/benefits?
R: Unfortunately, there is far less instruction than I imagine there would be if this role was in-person, and doing stuff on my own is pretty isolating especially since there is a 12-hour time difference between me and the rest of the department. Similarly, there is far less structure, and we probably will not get as much work done as a result. However, I am doing this all on my own, which means that I am learning about the work that I’m doing very thoroughly. I am also able to have more control over my schedule, which is really nice.
S: Song of the summer?
R: “Your Love” by The Outfield.
This is just one example of how coding-based research can take place remotely, but hopefully it gives you a good sense of how this type of work can be done from home! Tune in next week for the final installment of this series, where I’ll be interviewing a third-year student double majoring in Philosophy and Economics.