STEM

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.
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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?

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A Programming Internship for a High School Junior

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.
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High School Engineering Intern to MIT Grad

It’s wonderful to read  news about former interns! Harry participated in an engineering internship with us as a junior in high school.
Harry’s mentor was the company’s CEO, a graduate of MIT who wrote Harry’s letter of recommendation:

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.
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The Internship Connection’s Prestigious Boston STEM Internships

(STEM) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Internships for Global Leadership

Science is more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world. – President Barack Obama, March 23, 2015

At Internship Connection, we place high school and college students with interests in these crucial fields in a wide variety of prestigious placement sites often in Boston and Cambridge.

Click here to learn More about our STEM Internship success stories

Benjamin, High School Internship- STEM/Nanotechnology

Ben is the Founder and CEO of Privy, an Ecommerce company that supports 200,000+ marketers in over 180 countries.

Ben was a junior at Newton South High School when he became interested in what was a new scientific field at the time called nanotechnology. After researching the companies in Boston area, we connected him to the CEO of Nantero, which at that time was a new startup in greater Boston. At Nantero, Ben was trained to work on wafer-scale electron beam lithography, using a scanning electron microscope to define high-resolution features on test chips. The Chief Scientific officer wrote a stellar recommendation for college and Ben was accepted to Cornell where there was ongoing research in nanotechnology.

 Ben’s high school internship in a STEM field jump-started his career. Following that, each successive internship led to the next one. Hired immediately from his last college internship, he began his career journey in technology.

 “My internships provided a first hand experience of several, very different career paths. Summer long exposure in each different environment was all it took for me to change or validate my true passions. “

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Ben, High School internship – Technology

Ben is an MBA candidate at Stanford and the Co-founder Verix, a business intelligence software company headquartered in Los Altos, California.

When he was a sophomore at Phillips Academy, Ben told us that he was interested in both technology and business. We established an internship for him in technology operations and systems management, working directly under the Vice President of Technology in a large company in Boston. Ben oversaw computer hardware and software maintenance within this e-commerce firm of 700+ employees. He managed systems networking equipment during office expansion and created basic HTML code for internal company use. Ben felt fortunate to receive a stellar recommendation for college from his mentor.

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This 15 Year Old Intern Has More Confidence In His Future Than Many People Twice His Age

My son’s summer internship provided him an incredible opportunity to experience the environment of a successful startup company, to work on real life projects that tested his resourcefulness and creativity, and most importantly, allowed him to work closely with phenomenal people who treated him as one of them. This experience gave David the confidence to seriously explore and consider engineering and technology as a potential field of study in college and as a possible career choice. A huge thank you to Dr. Jabbawy for finding us this internship.   -Natalie, BB&N parent

 

David wanted hands-on experience in technology

David is a student at Buckingham Browne and Nichols and the younger brother of a student we had placed on an internship a few summers earlier.  We were so impressed after meeting him, for even at age 15, we could see his intelligence and maturity. During a previous summer, he had taken a three-week, hands-on course in human biology at the Center for Talented Youth (CTY). David expressed his desire to participate in an internship where he would have a hands-on experience in technology.

We prepped David for his interview at Artaic, a mentoring company in our program. Artaic has developed an innovative and sustainable way to manufacture large-scale mosaics, using a robotic manufacturing process.

 

David was able to work under the direction of their robotics and production engineer.

 

David’s report

 

Q: David, tell us about your experiences.

 

A: So far it’s been a great experience. I’m meeting people that are really educated and amazing. The robotics and the technology that is used at Artaic are mesmerizing and it’s so cool being so close to it. The best part of my internship has been the environment. Everyone is really friendly and very welcoming. They are also very appreciative of the work that I have done and are willing to work with me.

 

I was assigned my own project to work on and have been designing a mechanism to help remove and replace tiles in jewelry. I am working on the mechanism that allows for the tile to come out and be replaced by another easily. I have also been working on creating a dispenser for the company’s polymer paper, which is used to help keep the tiles together.

 

As part of my project I have:

– Researched the life span of certain parts for the new robot and calculated maximum force for fasteners in the robot
– Learned basics of Solid works software
– Created and delivered several presentations to the engineering team about my progress with the project.
– Interacted with multiple vendors and provided specifications for the design
– Designed and obtained quotes for cufflink case
– Created an adjustable stand for tile feeders

 

Q: Can you describe a situation during your internship in which you took a risk by putting yourself in a new position, such as meeting new people, asking questions, making suggestions? Write a paragraph or two about this situation explaining how it made you feel and what you learned about yourself as a result.

 

A: The engineering department had meetings to discuss the ongoing projects and give updates about what is going on in the company. These meetings would happen almost every week. I decided to create presentations for these meetings that gave an update about what was happening with my own project. In these PowerPoint presentations, I would describe the options available for the jewelry and then make my own suggestions.

 

At first I felt uncomfortable making suggestions about something like this to people who are clearly more educated in technology and engineering. I felt like my suggestions would be laughed at. However, the opposite occurred. My suggestions were taken into serious consideration and on multiple occasions, they were put into effect. I learned that although I may not be as qualified as the people around me, I am able to make educated suggestions and comments and that maybe, I knew more than I thought. This gave me confidence and allowed me to speak out more and become more comfortable in the environment.

Words from David’s mentor

 

David’s mentor wrote:

 

“We are glad to hear that we could help David build up experience from a young age and help him with making smart career choices for future. David has the qualities to become a great engineer one day. He’s a young man who is very mature for his age. I imagined he was going into his senior year of high school; when he told me he had just finished freshman year I was really surprised to say the least! David is a fast learner and he’s caring about his future and career choices; I am hoping that his experiences with Artaic inspired him pursue studies in the amazing fields of science. I am looking forward to staying in touch with David”.  – CARLO TAGLIABUE, Robotics and Production Engineer

How Alison Landed A Prestigious Biotech Internship in Boston

Alison contacted us the summer of her junior year in college, hoping to connect to an internship related to her Neurobiology/Physiology major at the University of Maryland. At Maryland, Alison works as a mentor in the Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) program. She creates curricula, lesson plans and science experiments for girls’ after school math and science program at low-income middle schools in the area.

Because of her background and the fact that she may pursue a career in Public Health, we thought that one of the biotech companies in Cambridge or Boston might consider her for an internship. We had recently read about Cellanyx Diagnostics, a biotech company in the MassChallenge accelerator in Boston’s Innovation District. Cellanyx is developing a next generation cancer diagnostic.

We helped Alison refine and update her resume to focus specifically on science and presented her resume to the CEO at Cellanyx. After we prepped Alison for both a phone and in-person interview, she was accepted for this prestigious Boston internship.

Alison’s report

“This past summer I was an intern at Cellanyx Diagnostics, a company doing research to produce a new prostate cancer diagnostic test.  I did public health research on various topics on prostate cancer, including treatments, emerging technologies, statistical data, demographics and incidence & mortality rates.  I wrote articles for patients, physicians, hospitals and payers, which can be accessed at skyblue.cellanyx.com.  I have continued my work with Cellanyx, running their Twitter account to spread awareness about prostate cancer.  I really enjoyed working in the MassChallenge office because it gave me the opportunity to learn about the various facets of running a business and I was able to meet a lot of people from all different types of businesses.”

We are still in touch with Alison who is continuing her relationship with Cellanyx, maintaining their Twitter account and posting about updates in the field of prostate cancer diagnostics as well as promoting the company.

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