STEM

Engineering and Science Internship at a Great Boston Startup

Brendan, a junior at Carlisle High School,  is a very well rounded student who enjoys learning, especially chemistry and biology. Also, as a skier and outdoor enthusiast he became very interested in conservation and sustainability. Combining these interests, we matched Brendan to the CEO of a company that was developing an innovative and sustainable way to manufacture mosaics, using a robotic manufacturing process.

 

Brendan worked in production and conducted small engineering projects. He designed methods to unload tile tubes more efficiently, designing a stopper, creating a prototype and then testing the design.

In his journal, Brendan wrote,

“I learned a lot of math and science in school, but never had the chance to apply these concepts to real life processes. I enjoy discussing ways to make tangible systems more efficient and sustainable. An added feature of my internship has been the experience of working in a start-up company environment. I am gaining a lot of experience by observing my co-workers in action and watching how decisions are made and problems tackled. I love how the CEO and founders are in the same room as the production workers and engineers.

I was able to sit with the co-founder responsible for marketing who discussed strategies for marketing their products. We talked for about an hour about their evolution and also discussed the difference between working for a big company and starting your own. Now I have come to understand the difficulty of taking the initial risk and am inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and the hard work involved.”

The CEO wrote Brendan’s letter of recommendation:

“Brendan made an immediate impact with our engineering and production team. Despite being only a high school student, he was able to integrate well with engineers and offer insightful ideas. He quickly mastered the production processes and began working on ways to improve them. Brendan got his first taste of engineering by pinpointing problems, designing solutions, prototyping solutions and then fabricating those solutions. He designed methods to make our tile inspection station as automated and comfortable as possible. His insights allowed our full time production workers not only to work more comfortably and sustainably, but also to see new ways of approaching production improvements.

After being immersed in the startup environment Brendan has made it clear that he wishes to start his own company some day. He definitely has a passion for knowledge in many fields and I feel he is excited about combining technology with one of his broad interests, including, music, social sciences, sports, or conservation. I believe Brendan has the entrepreneurial and pioneering drive to make the strongest contribution to any college he applies to.”

Boston Computers & Entrepreneurship Internship

Will is a serial entrepreneur, currently as Co-founder at Recharge in San Francisco and formerly as founder of Cloudy, Eduset and more. As a high school junior at Concord-Carlisle High School, Will already had an impressive resume. He was hired by his school to create their website, worked in programming after school for a local company, and started his own on-line website where DJ’s create play lists for users. Will’s internship objective was to improve his understanding of web technology and media by interning at a web 2.0 company.

After extensive research we were able to establish an internship at a well known start-up matched exactly to Will’s interest in media and music.

“I have been working with the founder as well as their web guru to brainstorm and prototype software that would enhance their software offerings. For instance, I have made a functioning prototype of software that allows employees to quickly add new KeyFeeding sources to the platform. The goal of my work is to demonstrate an early functioning version of software that could be re-coded by engineering and added to the production version, allowing management to assess the value of the potential new feature before committing valuable engineering resources.”

When we visited during the summer, Will proudly showed us that they placed his name on the door of the office where he worked.

When asked what the best part of his internship was, Will wrote,

“The opportunity to work directly with the founder (pictured with Will in the photo) on a daily basis has been phenomenal, and far more access than I had expected. I have also had great experiences with many other employees, all who are willing to help me solve a problem or brainstorm ideas. I have had many discussions where I have actually felt as if I was having a say in the direction the company will take in various areas, something which I would have hardly dreamed of coming into the internship. Separately, I was also able to sit in a few days ago on their quarterly meeting, where they discussed the current situation and future direction of the company, an experience I found extremely valuable, as I look to someday start my own business.”

Will was actually hired to work there after school during his senior year. We are sure that he will enjoy these professional contacts for many years to come.

Pragmatic Tips for Parents: Internship Connection Interview with Boston Tech Mom

“My son is great in math. He may be interested in engineering but is not sure if he should apply to a liberal arts college or engineering school.”

Getting exposure in high school to a field the student may be interested in gives them the chance to “try on” a career. They will absorb the work culture, understand what the day-to-day experience is like and the types of projects people work on. Often the experience confirms a career interest but sometimes the student realizes that field is not right for them. It’s certainly better to discover this early on. These days too many students lose time and money by changing their college majors mid- course.
Continue reading “Pragmatic Tips for Parents: Internship Connection Interview with Boston Tech Mom”

21st Century Education: The Importance of STEM Internships

In the book 21st Century Skills- Learning for Life in our Times, author Charles Fadel explores three main categories of skills needed for students to excel in modern times:

  • Learning and Innovation
  • Digital Literacy
  • Life and Career Skills

As early as sophomore year in college, students are expected to choose a college major, but without workplace exposure, how is a student really able to make that determination?

Continue reading “21st Century Education: The Importance of STEM Internships”

Boston STEM Internship in Nanotechnology

Ben was a junior at Newton South High School and enjoyed Science and Math. He was thinking about applying to college engineering programs but wasn’t certain. We connected Ben to a start-up firm specializing in a new technology.

Ben wrote about his internship in his College Essay:

“After slipping into a white lab coat, I insert my hands into to tight latex gloves, carefully covering my hair with a cap made of thin, crinkly paper. I slide open the heavy rubber curtains, stepping into the clean room enveloped by dust-collecting styrofoam and silence. Facing me are two computers and a state of the art, half million-dollar Scanning Electron Microscope, powerful enough to see anything a few billionths of a meter in size.

I begin etching off misaligned carbon nanotubes through wafer scale electron beam lithography to design high-resolution features on test chips. Imagine computers that boot up instantaneously, cancer cells targeted at the molecular level a trillion bits worth of data stored on a chip the size of a postage stamp. I hope that someday I will contribute to the development of these exciting discoveries.”

Ben included his mentor’s letter of recommendation in his college applications. The Chief Scientific Officer wrote:

“I found Benjamin’s performance impressive. He quickly grasped the necessary points for working on an operation that was a crucial part of a very complex semiconductor process flow. He was interested in the field at a fundamental, scientific level. I would be very happy to have the opportunity to work with him again. He would make a valuable addition to any research laboratory or college program.

Ben’s high school internship at this technology start-up qualified him for a summer internship after his freshman year of college. He interned at a New York City investment banking firm specializing in companies that focus exclusively on this new technology. Ben conducted research, interviewed international CEO’s, and was listed as a co-author in their annual report. He writes,” It was an amazing experience. The other interns were MBA’s. Certainly, I was offered this opportunity because of the internship I had in high school.”

Boston Science And Writing Internship

Kathy Ma, a junior at Acton Boxborough High School, told us that she had several interests: writing, business and science. She writes for her school literary magazine and is on the regional science team, so we combined all of her interests by establishing a communications internship at a state agency for the development and promotion of Life Sciences.

Kathy interned for the Vice President of Communications. In her journal, she wrote, ” I write press releases, media advisories and emails. I’m involved in researching prospective companies and I’ve been able to sit in on conference calls as well as attend Life Science events and board meetings.

Boston Biotech Internship with Harvard and MIT mentors

 

Arjun, a junior at Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School in Marlborough, MA, was interested in chemistry, biotech and chemical engineering. We matched Arjun to Novophage, a Cambridge-based Therapeutics company which was featured in MassHigh Tech magazine as ” one of the best start-ups to watch.” This company developed a cutting edge biofilm solution that is both eco-friendly and highly effective.

Arjun’s mentors were the founders of the company, graduates of Harvard Business School, MIT and Cornell. He was thrilled with the exposure he received and told us that what he most enjoyed was learning about lab techniques and standards, as well as the business side of a start-up.

Boston Medical Research Internship for High School Junior

 

Nima has completed numerous AP courses as a junior at Belmont high and has volunteered in Tehran Hospital, Iran. We felt that Nima, because of his advanced studies, could possibly be a candidate for an internship relating to research. We matched him to a technology entrepreneur who is the founder of the Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis.

With the help of his mentor, Nima developed a research project and power point presentation entitled, “Biological Identities and Cell Mapping.” Through illustrations and a cell/organism map, Nima was able to show exact cell size using a relative scale, something that’s missing in biology textbooks.

In the IC Journal, What are you Learning about Yourself? Nima writes:

“I’m learning to become independent which is a very important quality in the medical field. I noticed that I have learned biology very well this year and it helps me on this job. I have also learned that asking questions can get you very far! My mentor is a very nice person and helps me whenever I need help.”

Nima tells us that this internship has certainly confirmed his interest in medicine and he looks forward to an additional experience in this field.

A Programming Internship for a High School Junior from England

Andrew (arms folded above) is from an American family who is currently living in England. They reached out to us in order to establish an internship related to Computer Science/Programming. We Skyped with Andrew to get to know him and understand his interests, helped to establish summer housing for him in a college dormitory, and connected him to Privy, a venture capital backed startup company. Privy’s office is in Downtown Boston in the WeWork building, a short subway ride from Andrew’s dorm.

Because Andrew had a basic familiarity with Java, he came up to speed quickly and was able to take on a programming project. In his letter of recommendation, Privy’s CEO wrote:

We asked Andrew to build a particular software application relating to customers. Through this project, he was able to set up a development environment on his own machine, lean a new programming language(Ruby on Rails), integrate with two external vendor APIs and launch the application. We are now using his open source application on a weekly basis. Andrew is the kind of student I would highly recommend to any organization.

In his journal, Andrew wrote about the best part of his internship:

The best part of my internship was definitely writing the program to track data on our support conversations. I had to integrate my program with two different APIs (Intercom and Google Sheets) which was a big enough challenge on its own. Then I had to write all the logic required to take the data we get from Intercom, re-format it, and place it in a Sheets document in such a way that this program can theoretically run every week for as long as it needs to and still function properly, even with manual changes to the document by Privy employees.

I had a wonderful time learning about all of the little intricacies of the Privy code base and how they work together to make an efficient machine. This project was also a great opportunity to get to know the developer team better and to learn how collaboration between a team of programmers works in a business, given that most of my programming projects up to this point have been solo.

High School Engineering Intern to MIT Grad

 

It’s wonderful to hear great news about former interns.

Harry, from Hingham High School,  participated in an engineering internship with us as a junior. He was an outstanding student athlete with particular strengths in math and science. Interested in engineering and manufacturing operations, we matched Harry to a manufacturing internship.

Harry’s mentor was the company’s CEO, a graduate of MIT who wrote Harry’s letter of recommendation. We were thrilled to hear later that Harry was accepted to MIT!

I have been impressed with Harry’s engaging personality, intelligence and maturity throughout his internship. He quickly grasped the necessary concepts involved in our operation and excelled on every task that he was assigned to. His responsibilities included: attending all manufacturing meetings, learning ISO requirements and the operating procedure for all machines. Once I understood his advanced level of competence, I assigned Harry the task of developing procedural documents for maintaining each piece of equipment.

Harry became aware of vendor issues and wrote up a thoughtful report concerning quality control. I found his interest in engineering and quick grasp of manufacturing issues unusual for a high school student. With the intelligence and drive that Harry brought to our company as a high school intern, I can only imagine what he would have to offer to MIT and his chosen profession.

In addition, Dr. jabbawy contacted another CEO of a prestigious engineering consulting firm in downtown Boston, who was happy to arrange a visit. Harry spent several hours touring the offices and meeting all types of engineers. He learned about engineering as a profession, the various types of engineering fields and enjoyed lunch and camaraderie with professionals immersed in the field.

The following is a fascinating article Harry wrote when he was at MIT for Fast Company- Business and Innovation:

Why An MIT Student Chose An Obscure Internship Over Silicon Valley

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