Science and Technology Internship Success Stories

Preparing for the complex demands of an advancing world.

Students in PennWest California's scientific, technological and career-oriented degree programs take part in forward-thinking internships that prepare them for the rapidly changing demands of the industrial, business and health care fields. Read their stories and start brainstorming for your own. 

Andrew Milevoj, Meteorology Major

Intern, National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), Lincoln, Neb.

"Interning at the NDMC has been the opportunity of a lifetime! This experience has given me the confidence and the contacts I need to pursue a potential career in the field of climatology."

Andrew Milevoj took on the exciting challenge of interning at the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska. Working under the director, Milevoj undertook many projects pertaining to the center's new product, the Drought Atlas. He was also given the opportunity to conduct literature work for the director, helping him write a chapter for a book. On the last day of Milevoj's internship, he gave a presentation to the staff, and they were so impressed that they asked if they could officially add his work to their research!

"The top two things I have learned are to have patience and be persistent", Milevoj says. Patience is important because during this internship, some things/ideas did not come to me right away and I began to feel a bit frustrated.  But eventually, I was able to complete whatever I was working on and understand how to do it. Persistence is important because it gave me the ability to not give up on my work and overtime. I completed it all and the staff was impressed."

Jennifer Smith, Pre-Med Biology Major

Intern, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 

"Working at Walter Reed has surpassed my expectations of a summer internship. Being able to work with Army personnel, veterans and their families has really put things into perspective for me."

As an intern at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C, Jennifer Smith was able to go on rotations with doctors in various departments, including Radiology, Vascular Surgery, Cardiology and Preventative Medicine. She helped the doctors with their daily tasks and research, and observed their daily procedures, including many innovative surgeries. Smith was also assigned a medical case series to write up.  From this case series, she made a poster to present to an audience of her peers as well as hospital staff. She also was able to submit her case series for possible publication in a medical journal. 

"I have learned how to be a better scientific writer," says Smith. "This internship has also taught me to take more initiative to get to experience the things I want. This internship has provided me with so many great opportunities that I would not have had otherwise."

Nigel Wright, Computer Engineering Technology Major

Intern, Progeny Systems Corporation, Charleroi, PA.

"This experience has given me the chance to develop skills that are valued in the industry."

Nigel Wright completed an internship with Progeny Systems Corporation, a small business that develops electronic systems for the United States Department of Defense. His internship gave him experience designing and laying out printed circuit boards, updating and creating electronic schematics, and writing code in VHDL, C, and C++. While VHDL is a language he learned through his internship, Wright credited his classes at PennWest California with developing his C and C++ skills.

The small business environment provided Wright with a high level of involvement in important projects. After performing this internship, Wright had a renewed appreciation for his studies, and felt more that this is the kind of work he wanted to do after graduation. 

"I would not have been able to obtain this position if it were not for the help of Karen Primm and the faculty in my department," says Wright.