A New Kind of Summer Internship

Summer is usually an excellent time to augment the lessons learned in classrooms with other experiences like internships. Being able to work in the industry with professionals is incredibly rewarding. Interns are left with memories that last them a lifetime. Although circumstances aren’t ideal this summer, many QUEST students will be fortunate enough to participate in some fun internships, even if they are virtual. These might not be normal times, but QUEST students are still adapting to the challenging circumstances. I was able to get an inside look at some of our students’ summer plans:

Gesna Aggarwal, a computer science major in Cohort 32, will be a Software Engineering Intern at Microsoft. She’ll be a part of the Azure team, working in the realm of Cloud technology. Gesna was able to connect with QUEST alumni who work at Microsoft in the QUEST Lab and at the fall career fairs. They encouraged her to apply to the position and answered her questions, too. One of them, Julia Lomakina from Cohort 26, made a great impression on Gesna. They talked about the Microsoft Employee Hackathon, where Julia had created a solution that helped make education more accessible. This inspired Gesna, who’s excited about being able to craft her own innovations this summer. She’s also excited to be able to learn a lot on the job and network with as many people as possible. Her internship has been converted to a remote one due to the current situation, but she’s excited to make the most of this opportunity and have a blast anyway!

Gesna Aggarwal, Cohort 32

Owen Roy, a bioengineering major in Cohort 32, will be interning at Rise Therapeutics in Rockville, MD. Rise is a biotechnology company leveraging research to develop biopharmaceuticals that can be taken orally instead of intravenously. Owen will be working to develop these therapies and get them approved for general use, as well as situate the company to succeed in the larger market. He leveraged his experiences from 190H and 390H when he was interviewing for the role. He said, “Because of my experiences in QUEST, I was able to present myself as someone who was interested and capable in both the technical and business sides of the biotechnology industry.” This will be Owen’s first experience in the biotechnology industry, so he hopes to be able to explore it and narrow down his interests for full-time roles. He hopes to be able to make a difference in any way possible and is looking forward to getting hands-on experience with the various operations of the company. Owen is unsure if his internship will be in-person or remote at the moment, but said that if he’s unable to go into the labs, he will focus more on the business side of the company. Either way, he feels fortunate to have this position and hopes to make the most of it.

Owen Roy, Cohort 32

Anusha Dixit, an aerospace engineering major from Cohort 31, will be a Systems Engineering Intern on the Exploration Medical Capability project for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. She’ll be adding to systems engineering models documenting baseline medical systems for future missions, as well as modeling the likelihood of medical conditions occurring on a mission. She thinks her experiences working with data in QUEST, coupled with a previous internship in the same field, helped her land the role. She’s very excited to see how medical systems for spaceflight missions are modeled, especially going into the Artemis moon missions. She’s also looking for opportunities to grow professionally and make great connections. Although her internship has been converted to a remote one, Anusha says she’s “still extremely thankful to be getting valuable work experience in these unprecedented times.”

Anusha Dixit, Cohort 31

All of these experiences sound incredible. Even though the summer has been dampened a little bit by these unusual circumstances, it’s great to see that QUEST students are still making the most out of the situations they find themselves in. Best of luck, everyone!

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