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What I did this summer: internship summaries

Posted on Dec. 12, 2018

RIVERDALE HIGH SCHOOL – From manufacturing to medical research, our high school seniors kept very busy this summer thanks to some pretty interesting internships.

Henry O-M. interned at Lightspeed Aviation, which manufactures noise-canceling headsets targeted to the general aviation market. While there, he evaluated the designs of different mounts for a biometric sensor that could monitor pilot health. He also evaluated two sensors for use in detecting carbon monoxide in the cabin.   

Olivia C. interned at Vigor Industrial where she assisted the aerospace engineer program manager with work focused on refurbishing a missile silo in Montana. She also helped out with trip logs, project management plans and collecting employee data.  

Abby M. interned at the Woods Chemistry Lab, a joint effort between Portland State University and Oregon Health & Science University. Over the course of the summer, Abby worked on her own experiment to see if specific MRI contrast agents are toxic to a certain type of fish embryo.  

Clayton P. had two summer internships. One in which he built an ultrasound microscope that combines a high-quality, custom microscope with an ultrasound transducer to study the effects of ultrasound on cancer tissue, among other uses. In the other, he worked on OHSU's immunofluorescence project, validating whether certain antibodies — which will be helpful in treating breast cancer — worked properly.   

Rachel F. interned with an OHSU lab researching multiple sclerosis. Her research involved how certain antioxidants, which have been shown to slow the brain damage caused by MS, interact with neural pathways.  

Aviva Soll interned at OHSU’s Oshimori Lab, where she was involved with researching squamous cell skin cancer and the effects of a protein called TGF-Beta and its receptors, as well as the cytokine IL 33. The research focused on how the proteins affect skin cancer growth and malignancy, as well as the tumor microenvironment.  

Norris M. interned with Donate Life, an organization that spreads awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation. Norris performed data research, created an educational pamphlet geared toward faith-based communities, and made a poster to be displayed in every Oregon and Southwest Washington Department of Motor Vehicles branch for DMV Appreciation Week — approximately 98 percent of registered donors come from the DMV.

Alma T. interned at a construction and project management firm Inici Group, where she assisted with architectural projects.  

Emma B. – firsthand account of ASE summer internship:

My name is Emma, and tthis summer — as part of the Saturday Academy’s Apprenticeship in Science and Engineering Program, I worked at Intel with my mentors Roger Hurwitz and Heather Thomas in the Product Systems & Engineering group to improve their resource tracking and management process.

I was looking specifically at quarterly tracking of headcount and big-ticket items (BTI), including how the group tracked their new hires and business expenses after the money or individuals had been allocated to them at the beginning of the quarter.

The main purpose of the project was to create a tracking process that gave visibility to the “spend” for key stakeholders, and allowed for course correction when spending or hiring strayed off track from the targets. Improving these root causes of process failure would hopefully enable the team to reach their allocated targets.

I learned a lot about process improvement and engineering during my internship, and I was even certified as a Green Belt in the Lean Six Sigma process improvement strategy.

I began by defining the problem, then analyzing and researching the current process and business needs. After I was confident with the research completed, and based on my discoveries, I prepared recommendations for changes I believed should take place within the organization’s process. I built a process that aided communication between the appropriate people and set in place guidelines and dashboards that would allow visibility, helping to keep headcount and BTI within the allocation and close to the target. Overall, this will help Product Systems & Engineering group as a whole to be more agile and able to spend their money in the correct places, as well as build trust between the group and other teams.

I was able to recommend improvements that have already started being implemented and will be fully implemented by the end of the year. Improving a complicated business process taught me a lot about process engineering, process improvement and project management. Through the internship, I also experimented with different online tools that can be used for tracking, one of which I implemented for the company. Working in a tech-oriented business environment helped me to build my skills in business and learn about the future of the technology industry.

The most impactful part of my summer experience was seeing my recommendations come to fruition within the team. That really cemented that what I was doing there was actually making difference. Related to that, I really enjoyed touring the labs and seeing the products that my team was helping to create, and knowing that my process would also contribute to the completion of those projects.