In Their Own Words (Part 1) by Paul B. '11
I ask my friends and fraternity brothers the immortal question: "What are you doing this summer?"
A few weeks ago, I sent this email to a bunch of my friends:
As you may know, I am not-so-secretly a blogger for MIT Admissions. I want to put up an entry highlighting the various awesome things that MIT students (being, ourselves, awesome) do for the summer. So if you want to (a) be famous, (b) brag about your awesome summer, (c) help show prospective students why MIT is amazing, or (d) all of the above – I’d appreciate a quick line explaining what you’re up to this summer!
Thanks a lot,
Happily, it turns out that I have a lot of friends who like to be famous – so many, in fact, that all of their responses wouldn’t fit in this one entry. Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing all of the 30-plus responses I received with you all. I hope you enjoy this cross-section of what MIT students do during their summer “off”!
Annelise Beck ’09 (Courses 5 and 8, of Simmons): “I’ll be UROPing in Prof. Field‘s lab (in the chemistry department) again. Unlike last summer, when I was relatively inexperienced and mostly did experimental work, it looks like I’m going to start my own theoretical project…which means improving my programming skills as well.
In August, I’m going to the ACS meeting in Philadelphia as part of a special program for undergraduates in physical chemistry – there are special talks and dinners with featured speakers and various professors for the students selected for this program. It’s the first year that this program has occurred, so I don’t really know what it will be like, but I’m really looking forward to attending talks and physical chemistry poster sessions, both because physical chemistry is great and because I need to start deciding what grad school I want to attend, so scoping out research at various places will be helpful. (Oh my god, grad school…panic!)”
Mike Bennie ’10 (Course 6, of Phi Sig, formerly of Burton-Conner): “I am working at Capital IQ in NYC this summer. We write software that can be used by almost anyone involved in the financial industry from universities to investment bankers to recruiters. It is kind of cool because I get to write code in jeans and a T-shirt on Wall Street. I am writing internal software for the company using some of Microsoft’s newest development tools such as Avalon and ASP.NET. Maybe I will just copy and paste this paragraph into my resume now. :D”
Jonathan Chapman ’11 (Course 15, of Simmons): “I’m working Simmons front desk for 40 hours a week, which gives me free housing; browsing for UROPs; and having a good time. Right now I’m also writing a game for the Assassins’ Guild. Finally, I’m ‘tagging’ DVDs at Hayden Library. It’s like YouTube, but for DVDs that Hayden has. We’re using del.icio.us, and the project is about halfway complete.”
Erik Fogg ’09 (Course 17, of Senior Haus and Phi Delts): “I’m spending 10 weeks in Beijing, starting on the 29th of May, as an intern for the Horizon Research and Consultancy Group, a consulting firm for many large Chinese companies, including CNOOC. I will be spending my evenings and weekends wandering around the city, trying to improve my Chinese and learn the culture enough to be comfortable. I’ll be blogging, including political commentary and analysis, from foggofwar.com; I’ll also be keeping another blog, The People’s Daily, to catalog my day-to-day experiences. In my last two weeks, I will be traveling throughout China, probably to Xi’an, Dalian, Qingdao, Guilin, and Shanghai.”
Jason Forte ’09 (Course 15, of Chocolate City): “I am performing investment banking equity research for Credit Suisse in New York City. I’ll be researching companies in the machinery, engineering, construction and environmental sciences sector.”
Teresa Giblin ’11 (Course 9, of Senior Haus): “I’ll be doing a UROP in the TedLab (MIT Language Lab) with Professor Ted Gibson. I’m running an experiment that will test whether or not the parts of the brain used for language processing are shared with other tasks by examining if there is correlation between people’s processing times for different, unrelated tasks. I will also test to see if presupposition – the use of a definite article in language – causes problems in language processing (i.e. if it takes a few milliseconds longer for the brain to process the concept). Finally, I’ll be testing if the type of modifier used in the object position of a sentence significantly affects processing time.”
Keone Hon ’11 (Course 18, of Phi Delts, formerly of Next House): “I’ll be doing a UROP in the Broad Institute – specifically, the Imaging Platform – to do some programming for a software package called CellProfiler Analyst that analyzes cell images, identifying cells and automating the process of counting or measuring various phenotypes. After work, I’ll be serving as a counselor for Research Science Institute (RSI), a summer program for rising high school seniors that’s hosted at MIT. For that, I’ll be living in Simmons with the students and will be organizing lots of fun activities (for example, I’m planning on playing frisbee every night).”
Nathan Lachenmyer ’10 (Courses 3 and/or 8, of Tetazoo): “I could write >1 page about everything I’m doing this summer. For a start, I’m UROPing with the Nanostructures and Computations Group (Collaborators with Ab-Initio, which is part of the Center for Theoretical Physics), doing Solar Car Team, self-studying 18.06 this summer, Shotokan Karate and Kokikai Aikido, and practicing my various trades (including juggling clubs, meteor-hammer, and throwing knives).
Michael Lin ’11 (Course 3, of Next House, formerly of Simmons): “Summer internship at NASA-Langley Research Center in southeast Virginia, Advanced Materials and Processing Branch. Mwahaha.” (Paul’s Note: Yes, he included the evil laughter in his email.)
Samantha Marquart ’11 (Course 9/Pre-Med, of Conner 2): “I am taking this summer to reflect on what I’ve done in the past year and on my journey towards MIT. I’m spending time catching up with friends and family. Getting to MIT was truly an adventure, and I love everything about being at MIT, but sometimes it’s nice to sit back and reflect on the good things in life. Additionally, I am the director of my community’s vacation bible school program. The week-long camp held in Dallas, Pennsylvania, is for kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. It’s my third year in charge of the program and the theme this year is Rainforest Adventure. I’m also working at my local hospital and baking a lot of cookies this summer too!”
Vrajesh Modi ’11 (Course 15, of East Campus, formerly of Burton-Conner): “I’m working as a GE-Infrastructure Engineering Intern for General Electric‘s Energy business. I’m a member of the Logistics and Trade Services team, which figures out how to transport abnormal objects (e.g. wind blades) from the place where they are manufactured to their final destination. The second day on the job, I visited the Port of Albany, where I observed the arrival of a ship much like this one.”
Cody Rebholz ’10 (Course 2, of Skullhouse): “I am the swim beach manager at the Boy Scout Camp that I went to when I was growing up. I’m also playing as much Ultimate Frisbee as possible with a summer league team.”