Saturday Academy offers a diverse and eclectic selection of internships to students that are chosen to participate in our Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program. Recently, following the launch of our new website, we decided to spend some time reaching out to ASE alumni to find out what they most valued about their internship experience. What we found is that all of our alumni had strong and meaningful connections with those that mentored them.
Albert Yang participated in our Mathematical Research using a Symbolic Mechanics Program internship and recalls his mentor’s humor. “My mentor is a very funny guy. My favorite work-related part would probably be whenever my mentor had an incredulous look on his face regarding something I had discovered or done.” Yang also talks about his mentor’s patience and how this was very important during the challenging aspects of Yang’s internship. “The most important piece of advice he gave me, that I still live by to this day at work, is that discipline in the workplace is the most crucial aspect of success, and is sometimes unfortunately overlooked.”
Annika Sullivan feels as if her mentor helped guide her career path. Sullivan writes, “Mentors in the ASE program devote their time and energy to interns because they care about the next generation of STEM. My mentor was supportive and challenged me to learn every day. It was due to my positive experience as an intern and my mentor’s guidance that I took my research to the Intel International Science Exposition. This is real science!”
Mentor’s serve a crucial role in the development of young people and can make a vast difference in self-esteem, ability to challenge oneself, and aptitude in the career world. According to Jonathan Romrell, “It is incredibly important with any internship or job to have connections on the team you can easily turn to with questions and get help. Not only was my mentor one such connection, but he also helped me build relationships with others at the company as well.”
Lindsay Popowski and Tristan Thompson both dive into describing the importance of having a mentor that was willing to challenge them. For both Thompson and Popowski, having mentor’s that prepared them for public speaking really helped in the future. Popowski’s says, “My mentor really helped me in the long run by having weekly group meetings where I had to present to the entire lab group. This forced me out of my comfort zone - albeit on a manageable level - and helped me improve my communication abilities.”
The diversity of our Apprenticeships in Science & Engineering (ASE) program enables Saturday Academy to connect with a vast number of incredible mentors and interns. Often, graduate students assist the mentor in our internships which provides students with insight regarding the college environment. ASE interns like Jennifer Braschayko and Chi Phan, describe their experience as both helpful and inspiring. Braschayko says, “My mentor is an awesome role model and inspiring woman to look up to. I also was taken on by two of her graduate students who were great mentors and spent more of the day to day time with me.”
Our ASE interns enter their internships with the desire to experience hands-on scientific research and experimentation. Their mentors have a huge role in making sure students understand the importance of lab work, research, and the unpredictable yet fascinating realm of science. Sophia Chau writes, “My ASE experience inspired and enabled me to continue in science by giving me greater confidence in myself as a scientist in training.”