http://www.anl.gov

Argonne National Laboratory

Intern

May 2019 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

This internship has pushed me to learn skills I never thought I could learn. I learned to code using Python libraries with no coding background.

What I wish was different

Unfortunately, the division I worked in there was not many undergraduate interns. I wish there were more undergraduate interns to connect with.

Advice

Be open to learn any knowledge!
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Intern

September - December 2019 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Free housing, good community, shuttles into Chicago, lot's of available clubs on campus

What I wish was different

I was expecting work in an actual lab going in but mostly did desk work which was a little bit of a bummer.

Advice

Having a car at this location is very helpful, the campus is large and there is so much to do within driving distance.
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SULI intern

September 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

I have had incredible exposure to a variety of topics that I am interested in. In addition, Argonne offers career and personal development events such as resume building seminars and Information about applying to graduate school.

What I wish was different

Nothing so far. I have been very pleased with my experience.

Advice

If you are interested in something or want to learn about something, there is probably someone at Argonne who can help guide and mentor you.
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Research Aide

June - September 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Overall, I was able to progress in my scientific literacy and connect many theoretical pieces of knowledge with practical applications, which is a refreshing divergence from the typical university learning process.

What I wish was different

I wish I had lived closer to Argonne. The commute from the Evanston area was quite long, especially during rush hour.

Advice

Be prepared to spend your first week or so going to orientations and doing training online.
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Data Science Intern

July - August 2018 • Chicago, IL

What I liked

Learned a lot while getting great real world experience.

What I wish was different

I had been able to work there longer.

Advice

Apply as early as possible before positions fill up!
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Summer Intern

May - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

There was free housing, so most of the summer interns lived within the laboratory. I had the opportunity to learn about all kinds of new fields of research being done. My amazing mentor, Dr. Ralph Muehleisen, guided me on learning about how to create and use weather profiles with different kinds of programs. I also had the opportunity to learn python, which is a valuable skill no matter that discipline of engineering a student may enter. The result of my project will help the Energy Systems division at Argonne National Laboratory study and analyze the effect of climate change on building infrastructure and the power grid. They will be able to use this information to make better informed decisions about how to build buildings, current and future cities, and the power grid system to make them more resilient and resistant to future weather patterns. Argonne National Laboratory offered many services to the students. The free housing helped me save money. They provided a shuttle to take us to the grocery store and into the city. ANL employees also get to enjoy free movies at a local movie theater on wednesdays, and there was even a shuttle for that! Many students that worked here did not have a car, so it was nice that the lab provided us with shuttle options. Argonne National Laboratory also sits in the middle of Waterfall Glenn Nature Preserve. There is a beautiful hiking trail that goes all the way around the lab. That also means that there was a lot of wildlife inside and outside of the laboratory walls. I love that!

What I wish was different

Argonne National Laboratory takes their security very seriously. To enter the laboratory, you have to have a badge and present it at the gate. If you do not have the badge, they will not let you in until they have someone high up approve the entrance over the phone. I never forgot my badge, but there were several people who did, and it causes issues.

Advice

Many students want to work in industry because of the pay. Before this internship, that was my mindset too. I recommend considering a research job. There are 17 national laboratories located throughout the United States. All of them are looking for hardworking students. I'm so thankful that I had this experience because it made me realize that going in to research is a great option. It's a kind of work that you will be proud of at the end of the day.
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Nuclear and Waste Managament Intern

May - August 2018 • Darien, IL

What I liked

I saw a lot of the lab and got exposure to many different waste streams and a professional setting

What I wish was different

I wish it had been more applicable to my major

Advice

Be open to all the things you might encounter and learn
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

January - July 2018 • Chicago, IL

What I liked

Flexible work from home

What I wish was different

More structured internship

Advice

Follow up with your bossa couple times
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Undergraduate Research Assistant

June - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Lab atmosphere was very academic. There were exciting facilities and talks every week or so.

What I wish was different

The lab is very distant from downtown Chicago and living conditions on site aren't the best. Also there is extreme variation in the size and rigor of research groups there.

Advice

Always just apply for internships. This internship wasn't even focused on students from well known institutions which made it a much more interesting student body.
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DOE SULI Intern

May - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Great exposure to science and research at a government facility.

What I wish was different

Easier transportation choices as the lab is a bit spread out.

Advice

Ask many questions.
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Research Aide

June - September 2018 • Darien, IL

What I liked

I liked the freedom of being able to be creative with how I designed the project. While there were guidelines, it was mostly up to me how I wanted to display the provided information. I could make the design as visually appealing as possibly while keeping it simple and clean for most viewers.

What I wish was different

My only wish is that I could have done this internship a little bit longer. I could have possibly added more features, wrote down more for the documentation, thought of more ways to make it visually appealing, etc. I

Advice

Prepare to learn while on the job . While you should definitely recall the topics you learn in your classes, alot of the learning also comes while you are working. Also, communicate with your supervisors and managers frequently. Clarify their expectations, provide some feedback, and give them updates. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
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Intern

May - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

The student intern environment and the opportunity to do US Department of Energy research at a national laboratory. I made friends from all over the country, gained experience in research and enjoyed the weekends in Chicago since the internship is so close to the city.

What I wish was different

This was a SULI internship and I wish I had more say on what department I was selected for.

Advice

Reach out to other departments and learn about the different research going on in wherever you are.
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Research Aide

June 2017 - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Meeting impressive scientists, seeing world-class research, and improving my network

What I wish was different

I wish I had gotten a more research oriented position

Advice

Be a proactive problem solver, especially when you chance upon things you don't know how to do
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Research Aide

June - September 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

I liked how I was able to work directly with a group that was pioneering research in computational cosmology. I worked directly with people behind some of the most sophisticated simulated galaxy catalogs ever created, so it was nice being able to learn from them and be able to contribute to projects on the cutting edge of this area of research.

What I wish was different

I wish I had been more outspoken/willing to speak up at the beginning because at times, I felt like I didn't have enough to work on. This might just be a first-time undergraduate internship thing, however. Once the internship really got started I felt comfortable.

Advice

See above
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Research Intern

May - August 2017 • Argonne, IL

What I liked

There were many people in the laboratory dedicated to the education (career development skills) of interns.

What I wish was different

That I were able to have spent more time with my mentor, who had a lot of wisdom to share.

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask questions, to ask for help, and to ask if you can try something new/challenge yourself
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Research Aide

June 2016 - May 2017 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

Mentorship, intern social activities, ability to work remotely.

What I wish was different

Wish there had been more notice about loss of funding for my project, and the end of the internship.

Advice

Don't be afraid to ask for help.
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Chemistry Research Intern

June - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

It was an increadibly valuable experience to be able to work closely with my lab director on cutting edge work.

What I wish was different

The pay structure for other funding programs was better and I wish I had gone through them

Advice

The best learning is done on your feet. Don’t be afraid to be thrown in the deep end.
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SULI Intern

June - August 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

The SULI program is an excellent opportunity for STEM students to learn more about professional research. If you are interested in a career in research or in applying to grad school, I would highly recommend applying.
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Research Aide

June - December 2018 • Lemont, IL

What I liked

One of the most rewarding experiences working at Argonne was growing my professional network, learning on the job and the diversity of work tasks.

What I wish was different

There is a good amount of paperwork involved for foreign students and short-notice deadlines which can be problematic.

Advice

Attend lectures, get to know the people you work with and definitely build connections.
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