Environmental Data Specialist (Former Employee) – Illinois – January 16, 2019
An internship is an invaluable experience for students. It helps to facilitate the student’s ability to apply the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to the professional environment. The laboratory becomes the teaching environment in which academic knowledge is transformed to a practical, applied state. One can compare this experience to moving a plant or a tree from a greenhouse and transplanting it into a forest. In the process, students gain a sense of self-confidence that comes from engaging in a project, following through in its development, and enjoying the fruits of their success. In sharing my experience, I hope to inspire students to pursue an internship at Argonne National Laboratory. The people there are very helpful. I strongly believe that an internship will help students feel that they are making a valuable contribution to society; moreover, they will establish many contacts in the scientific community, which will prove very helpful for their future.
I am currently a student at Daley College, accepted to the internship program at Argonne National Laboratory in May 2001. When I applied for the internship, I expressed a desire to become involved in a project related to my interests in computer science: computer programming, application, and Web design. The main project I work on at Argonne National Laboratory is the environmental assessment of the Lake Pleasant, Pennsylvania watershed. Many different types of data are collected and environmental analyses are performed as part of this study. Mapping and data base
management techniques are used to createmore... and manage analytical products that are posted on a project Web site.
When the project began, I did not know how to apply the concepts I had learned in school to a laboratory setting. I felt as if there was a dense fog in front of me.
My supervisor understood very well how I felt. He spent a great deal of time showing me how to use mapping techniques and providing me with different examples related to the project in order to help me understand. When he was out of town, he would ask others to offer assistance when needed.
My grandmother used to say that if you truly want to know the taste of a pear you must taste it yourself. Following her advice, I looked forward to taking the initiative in starting the project. Using some of the fundamental concepts taught in my college management classes: planning, organizing, influencing and controlling. My management studies taught me how to make a plan, to organize information, how to influence the project and how to manage the project for the future.
I wanted the project to be of high quality and I spent a lot of time learning about new software in order to manage this project for future use. My supervisor provided the necessary tools for developing the project. For example, I was introduced to the new software programs currently in use: Cold Fusion, Sigma Plot and ArcView. There were some problems when I first used these software programs; however, I always asked questions when I didn’t understand. The people at Argonne National Laboratory took the time to help me. They showed me the parallel relationship between the program’s content and what I had learned in my courses at school. At that time, I not only acquired new skills and understood more, but also reviewed what I had learned at school. With
their help, I understood how to apply the theoretical concepts learned in the classroom to the professional environment, and the project was successful. The internship made me feel that I am making an important contribution to society.
The Web site uses Geographic Information Systems’ technology to help people understand both why the lake is home to many rare species and how to protect the lake from future degradation. I have concentrated on producing a dynamic Web site to describe the lake, including different sections of the lake for different plants and fish. It includes links to twenty-four rare plants and four rare animals with data, pictures, and detailed information on the Web site.
I have also concentrated on selecting technologies for the Web site that are useful and efficient. This will enable people to understand why the condition of the lake is so important to our ecosystem. Changes in the lake over the years have made it essential that we study and compare all the data in order to prevent any further destruction. Those who go to the Web site will receive an education which hopefully will encourage them to protect the environment and inspire them to communicate to others what they have learned.
After the Web site was published, I found I had learned an unbelievable number of new skills. These skills will prove all the more valuable in the future studies. Often students wonder if what they learn in school will actually apply to the real world of experience. My experience at Argonne National Laboratory not only utilized my academic knowledge, but also made me eager to learn even more.
Besides feeling that I have made an important contribution to society, the internship has helped me to establish good communication skills for the future and
helped to make me feel like part of the team. Moreover, among the many valuable experiences I have had at Argonne National Laboratory is meeting the wonderful dedicated people from all over the world and from various cultures. The experience at Argonne National Laboratory has proved to be enlightening and enabled me to share my knowledge about the field I love. I look forward to continuing my work with my colleagues in the future.
In conclusion, although I am just a small plant from the greenhouse at Daley College, I have been transplanted into the big forest at Argonne National Laboratory. The people at Argonne National Laboratory have helped to nurture me as I continue to develop new skills and learn more theoretical concepts to apply to the professional environment. There are so many plants that need to be moved from the greenhouse to a spacious natural environment, where they can grow and thrive on their ownless
IT Development Intern (Former Employee) – Lemont, IL – January 14, 2019
Argonne has a wonderful work atmosphere and my coworkers were excellent people. There are great opportunities for learning, including attending seminars, talks, and other presentations from the scientific community.
Clerk (Former Employee) – Lemont, IL – September 26, 2018
During my time there I was able to meet people from various backgrounds from around the world. Everyone there was very warm and welcoming, not hesitating to answer questions and start up a conversation. It seemed like everyone felt they had a great purpose in life, with that enthusiasm and passion it made it a very comfortable place to work.
Research Assistant (Internship) (Former Employee) – Darien, IL – September 16, 2018
Work is intense and research driven. There are many scientists working together to solve interdisciplinary problems. The culture there values safety above all else, and senior level scientists truly want interns to gain valuable experience.
Postdoctorate Researcher (Former Employee) – Lemont, IL – September 1, 2018
I learned the principles of interdisciplinary research from my Argonne's job. Argonne has very collaborative culture and they are heavily engaged for encouraging women for science and engineering careers.
Postdoctoral Researcher (Current Employee) – MSD – August 31, 2018
the research possibilites are amazing for me - about this: no discussion at all (one of the best places on earth for me!) about the "overhead", administration and safety and security: they are overdoing it (in my opinion…) payment is good for a National Lab (for sure…) - but not really good in general!
Staff Scientist (Former Employee) – Argonne, IL – August 22, 2018
Argonne is a perfect place for the researcher interested in pure research and not lusting after high salary and vertical mobility. The environment is amazing and caters to the intellectual and athletic with opportunity to pursue many diverse avenues of science and a great compound for health and fitness. GREAT place to work
National labs tend to be low on salary - that is not what you are there for
Thesis Parts Researcher (Former Employee) – Chicago, IL – June 27, 2018
The research at Argonne is top notch. Be aware that it is a federal research facility and working there brings with it both the good and bad of working at national lab. With respect to the location, it's hard to find a more convenient location from which to get into the city or out to the suburbs.
Intern (Former Employee) – Argonne, IL – May 15, 2018
This place is constantly working on new and exciting things that apply to everyday life. They have a great staff and friendly people. I worked on a project to create a thermal temperature gauge to be used as a liquid level detection system. It was an interesting challenge and I had great help from my manager. I really enjoyed working here for both of the summers that I did. I recommend it to anyone who wants to change the world.
Technical Advisor (Former Employee) – Lemont, IL – March 16, 2018
Good place to work. Generally cooperative and congenial staff. Excellent comprehensive benefits including generous sick leave, vacation and retirement contributions. Flexible schedule and telecommuting options. Strong safety orientation. On-site cafeteria, credit union, and medical department. Strong and active mentoring program.
Collaborative atmosphere with extremely bright people
Manager for Clean Cities (Current Employee) – Lemont, IL – March 11, 2018
Challenging and engaging environment with technical team. I learned much about science, analysis, and engineering of advanced vehicle technologies. The workplace creates a collaborative environment between colleagues and industry or government sponsors.
Intern / Tribology Dept (Former Employee) – Lemont, IL – March 5, 2018
Was mentored as an intern by other interns more progressed in their field, as well as management when time permitted. Was expected to work largely unsupervised and allowed a large degree of trust. Professionalism was expected, and observed by all interns due to the degree of respect they held for management and more than fair pay.