Sandia National Labs Internship
This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I worked in a group called Sensor Exploitation Explorations, which does a lot of data analysis from a variety of sensors. Sandia National Labs is one the Department of Energy Labs, and is managed by Lockeed Martin. It is known for its work on nuclear projects and national defenses.
I was given a handful of projects throughout the summer, many of which did not have specific end goals. Rather, I would be given data and some general guidance and told to see if I could find anything noteworthy. For these projects, I wrote lots of code to retrieve and process large sets of data, and experiment on my own with different ways to view the data in order to see if any notable patterns occurred. I presented my findings for some of the projects to other team members at the conclusion of each project. I also had the opportunity to participate in a field test while I was there, and learned how even though running experiments sounds fun, sitting in the hot summer sun in the desert can be pretty brutal.
In addition to learning new technical skills, this internship taught me a lot about managing my own work load throughout the day and being proactive in seeking out projects that I could work on. I took on the challenge of learning new skills and working hard to take care of my own technical or experimental problems while at the same time striking a balance with not being afraid to turn to full time members in my group and actively seeking their help, as well as trying to gain as much knowledge as I could from their wealth of experience.