Hui Fang '11, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Broad Corporation, Changsha, China
My eight-week stay became a nine-week stay since there was just so much to do and learn at this internship in Broad Corporation. I'm truly grateful to the Keller Center for sponsoring this chance to see from the inside how private business in China is run, valuable not only for business in China but also for enriching my understanding of business in the US. As a student in Operations Research and Financial Engineering, there has always been an implied connection between business and engineering in my studies, but to make connections in the office has made it all real and increased my interest in this field. Equally valuable is the chance to interact with people from overseas with a different perspective and cultural background. Their dialogue and openness gave me a much greater understanding of the culture in China and business culture in general.
My two month internship at Broad Air Conditioning in Changsha, China was a rewarding experience. Not only did I gain a great deal of insight into working in China, but I also benefited as a student in mechanical engineering. I learned about important aspects of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, and I was exposed firsthand to engineers working in the industry. I was very impressed by Broad's commitment to energy conservation and sustainability, reflected in their choices both in technology as well as business practices. The trip also gave me an opportunity to see a culturally rich part of China I had never been to and allowed me to meet very many amazing and friendly people.
For two months I spent the summer working for an information technology (IT) company called Infosys in Bangalore, India. Infosys is one of the world leaders in IT, and employs over 100,000 Indian employees who range from world class Phd's developing cutting edge computing techniques, to middle class workers processing invoices. In this environment - where traditional culture, ethnicity, and values intersects with technology, industry, and creativity - I had the remarkable fortune to experience India. At Infosys, I worked in a team of software architects developing a social networking application and researching the difficulties companies faced when they attempt to launch internal social networking applications. Yet I was also able to explore villages, climb mountains, and enter the lives of my gracious coworkers who were keen on showing me their homeland. I saw the beauty and tragedy of modern India, the struggles and triumphs of her people, and the immense potential of her industry.
Nizette Edwards '11, Chemical Engineering
Energy For Opportunity, Sierra Leone
I spent 10 weeks this summer working with Energy for Opportunity (EFO), an NGO that works in Sierra Leone to provide and install clean, sustainable, renewable electricity-generating infrastructure. Much of my time was spent in the northern rural Bombali District. Due to EFO's recent solar power installations at the Kamakwie Secondary School and generous donations of several computers, the school was able to establish a computer lab. I helped to develop a curriculum and train staff to teach computer literacy in an area where access to computers is severly limited. After this, I got my own hands dirty and helped in one of Sierra Leone's largest solar installations. This was a collaboration of EFO and Princeton's Engineers Without Borders in Kono, Sierra Leone's diamond mining distrit. And lastly, I did research into the viability of biofuel as an alternative to conventional gasoline. All of these projects aim to improve the livelihoods of those in the communiiteis. Overall, working with EFO has really helped me realize that all countries need to invest in feasible alternatives to energy.
Eden Full '13, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Solar For All Initiative at Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
My primary responsibility as an intern for Solar For All was to assist in the expansion of the initiative, primarily in developing an understanding for how policy in developing countries has to change in order to improve the accessibility of solar technology. The internship lasted from June 1 to July 31, 2010. Working from Calgary, Alberta, Canada and Princeton, New Jersey as a remote intern of Ashoka, I worked with David Green and Xiaowen Lin, the creators of the initiative. At this time, because the initiative is not well-established, I was told to focus on one particular research project: a project proposal to Cali Solar. Cali Solar currently holds patents for their technology, a process for purifying metallurgical grade silicon into 15% efficiency wafers. Solar For All is collaborating with Eicke Weber, who leads the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy in Germany. I conducted extensive background research on the technology, compiled this information and wrote the respective reports, and then prepared a final proposal. I would like to thank the Eugene Wong '55 Fund for Engineering and Policy, as well as the Keller Center for making this opportunity possible!
Jingwen Du '13, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton Satellite Systems, Plainsboro, NJ
This summer I interned at Princeton Satellite Systems. During my internship, I designed the avionics system and the crew escape module for the company's new launch vehicle design. Despite the fact that I had little previous experience, the company gave me ample resources to familiarize myself with the topics. For my work in avionics, I coauthored two papers, both of which were selected to be presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) international conferences. I was able to attend one of these conferences to help present one of these papers. It was amazing to not only to help present my own paper but also to meet extremely talented and experienced professionals in the field. The internship was an incredible experience in terms of both the major responsibilities and freedom I was given.
Ming Lu '12, Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Sealed Air Corporation, Elmwood Park, NJ
This summer, I spent 10 weeks as an intern at Sealed Air's (best known for inventing Bubble Wrap) treasury department. This internship wasn't merely a job; it was an entire learning experience. The people in treasury were extremely welcoming and very open to teaching me all about what they do. They not only gave me background on whatever project I was working on, but also took the time to teach me about their specialty within corporate finance. I got the chance to work on a multitude of different finance-related projects this summer. My primary project was developing Sealed Air's financial forecasting model used to calculate cash flow. I also worked on updating the companies cash and short-term investments policies, adjusting the policy to make it more in line with the company's investment goals and risk tolerance. In collaboration with one of the MBA interns in sales, I researched market interest rates on leases, and made recommendations to adjust Sealed Air's currently quoted equipment leasing rates. I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity to work at Sealed Air and interact with the amazing people at this company.
Pietro Rea '12, Economics
Root Orange, Silver Spring, MD
This summer I was an intern at Root Orange, a high-tech startup located in Silver Spring, MD ( minutes away from Washington D.C.). They have recently developed the technology to lease premium domain names such as DivorceLawyer.com and YogaClasses.com by geographic loation, re-routing local visitors to their clients' websites in corresponding metropolitan areas. They are pioneers in this new medium of Internet marketing. Root Orange is brimming with learning opportunities for anyone interested in entrepreneurhsip and high-tech startups, as I was able to see up close exactly how the founders Frank and Camilo worked and made decisions. Working for a startup is very different than working for an established company. We changed dirction very often and had to be thinking on our feet all the time. My role as a Sales and Marketing intern was to find prospects in the legal industry and reach out to them via phone and e-mail marketing. I would recommend the internship to self-driven students who want to learn more about entrepreneurship.
My experience in Mexico this summer showed me how a Princeton engineer can use their knowledge to improve the lives of others. Approaching the worlds housing problem with the mind set of engineering problem solving, the Arial Home Foundation is building simple, sustainable and comfortable housing. Although the days that I spent in the office crunching numbers with formulae I learned in MAE classes were rare, the ability to analytically and systematically attack a problem was something I used every day as a field engineer. Going out to houses, talking to the families about what problems they may be having and identifying and fixing those problems is something that Princeton engineering has implicitly taught me. Beyond this, I had a good inside look at how a small manufacturing business works as I was working in the Foundation's factory in Ensenada. Luckily, the other workers put up with my haphazard Spanish and I got to know them and the area well. Being immersed in Mexican culture and life-style through Arial Homes was a great experience and grounded the fact that my education can be put to use helping those less fortunate.
Kwesi Adarkwa '11, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Research at University of Bochum, Germany
This summer, I spent 8 weeks working as a research intern at Ruhr Universitat Bochum (RUB) in the city of Bochum, Germany. As a Mechanical Engineering major with a concentration in Materials Science, I was enthused when I was accepted to work on the project at Bochum, which involved the fabrication, testing and optimization of a small ultrashort laser pulse generation system - and I was not disappointed. It proved to be very interesting, and I gained a lot of knowledge and experience. Those should prove useful this year, as my senior thesis centres on laser design and testing. In addition, I found my coworkers in my lab research group really friendly and helpful. They helped me get up to speed on the project in no time, provided great insights that eased my burdens, and engaged me in conversation that made for great cultural learning. Also, the internship included a 7-hour-a-week German language study course which proved to be quite a delight and also increased my appreciation and knowledge of German. Immersion is, really, the best way to learn a language! Last but not least, the program was flexible enough that I was able to travel quite a lot within Germany and continental Europe during the weekends. The combined factors of great research, a great environment, and amazing trips made this into one of my most enjoyable and memorable summers.
This summer I worked in a shape memory alloy lab in Bochum, Germany. I was quickly integrated into the group and learned the many processing techniques involved in taking the pure elements to their functionalized actuator form. This included using a wire drawing machine that was over 30 feet long. While varying levels of English were spoken in the lab, each and every member went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I also ended up learning how to weld in a class that was taught completely in German! The biweekly German class was a great way to learn the survival German skills needed to navigate the country. Also, since it included students from all over the world, the English class turned into a fascinating cultural exchange of its own. The lab had all kinds of outings, including a day excursion to a local historical coal mine. World Cup games were always a valid reason to leave the lab early to watch with your coworkers. Being in Europe for the World Cup is really an experience that cannot be replicated in the States. In addition to lab and program organized events, I had the opportunity to travel a lot around Germany. From Berlin to Cologne, Koblenz to Dusseldorf, there is a lot to see and do.
Kelly Weeks '12, Computer Science
Research at University of Bochum, Germany
I worked with the Embedded Security Department at the University of Bochum in Bochum, Germany. My job was to research an attack on English credit cards done by researchers at Cambridge University and to adapt it to work on German credit cards (the researchers at Cambridge had tested their own attack on the German cards and it had failed). A daunting task, but I was aided immensely by many people in the department. But my favorite part of the internship, of course, was everything I got to do outside of work. I traveled to Sweden, Portugal, and hit almost every major city in German at some point or another. I also had to opportunity to play for the university's ultimate frisbee team, where I met and hung out with real live Germans! Easily the most rewarding part of my stay in Bochum, the frisbee team taught me everything them deemed useful about their culture 1) how to pick up guys auf Deutsch 2) insults to yell at siblings and, most importantly, 3) how to open a beer bottle with a cell phone.
Lillian Zhou '11, Computer Science
Research at University of Bochum, Germany
Apparently the buildings at Bochum University were designed to resemble ships, because the architects wanted to create a "port of learning". Whether or not my host students were pulling my leg, I felt that the other undergraduates, researchers, and faculty I worked with this summer brought wisdom and experience from their respective corners of the ocean. The Department of Systems Security was a diverse bunch and I had the opportunity to work and lunch with the lab members daily as well as discuss current and past projects. I wound up getting my hands dirty with two applications in trusted computing: working with the TPM chip, and testing a secure IP packet forwarder. And of course, as soon as the internship was over, I rushed back to Princeton to sign up for the Security course here. Besides work, there were plenty of chances to explore Germany with the other interns: backpacking, camping, day-long train rides across country, museums, performances, night festivals, and various forms of German fast food (free tip: never turn down currywurst). Living near the university meant we had plenty of interaction with English-speakers, while a twice-weekly German language course gave us a rudimentary vocabulary. Through planned activities, we met other international students, but perhaps most astonishing was the friendliness of the native Germans, who were as eager to share their home with us as we were to experience it.