Final Reflections

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Sunday, September 11, 2016


Maria McQuillan

This summer has taught me more than I ever expected. I entered this summer with the hope that I would be able to determine how I wanted to spend the next 5 years of my academic life. While I didn’t quite reach my intended goal for this summer, with the help of many different mentors, I have learned more about myself, new scientific fields, and especially the importance of networking. I am so thankful to everyone at NASA and SPS that made this summer so special and rewarding for me.

My advice for new SPS interns would be to not be shy. Networking is such a powerful tool for success in your career and all you have to do is say hi. Everyone has something to share and remember so do you. If you get stuck after the initial hello, don’t worry, SPS will help you get a rocking elevator speech to follow up with. Most people are kind and you may stumble upon a new job opportunity or even an unexpected mentor.

My second piece of advice is to not get lazy. Keeping up with your work keeps you empowered and usually continually learning. 10 weeks may seem like a long time, but it goes by so fast. Learn something new every day and if something goes wrong, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Best of Luck!

Maria McQuillan