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Rather than sitting on the couch or hanging out with friends all summer, student interns take advantage of the opportunities offered at the Corning Incorporated Sullivan Park Campus and gain insight into what career path they may take

Innovative Interns

Walking outside the Sullivan Park Science and Technology Center, juniors Adesh Tiwari and Elora Ferrie and seniors Taras Goral and Grace Scouten share a laugh. “I did the internship for experience for getting into the workplace, since I never really had an internship or real work experience before,” junior William Boychuck said. “It gave me a sense of the work world, and when I graduate, I will be more used to the work life.”  photo by Alexis Woodcock

     While senior Grace Scouten’s friends headed to the lake this summer, she went up the hill and grasped her opportunity to model a working experience for a Fortune 500 company. “I heard about the internship through the Corning robotics program. A lot of people there also work for Corning, Inc., so they told us about how, if you are 16 years or older, you could do an internship at Corning,” Scouten said. “During the internship I learned coding. I didn’t know a lot of code before the internship, but my mentor, Carlos Alonzo, taught me a lot of it there.”

     Experience was not the only incentive for getting the internships. “I did the internship because I wanted money, and 

   this was a way to get some. It also gave me something to do over the summer. If I hadn’t been doing the internship, I probably would have been off watching Netflix,” Scouten said. “I probably won’t go into a STEM career. I have been looking at schools for law, but I think the experience of working nine to five and having to be there on time will be helpful for working in the future.”


“I learned skills that would be useful for me on collaborating with peers and being independent. You get to create your own schedule, and it was up to you to decide when you wanted to work.”

Borna Eshraghi, 11

That’s Humerus
Using a human skeleton model, senior Natalia Alonzo learns about the human body in IB Biology HL 2. Interns worked on topics from cell growth to glass strength and flexibility to robotic manufacturing systems.“The internship will help me with my future because I can now put the fact that I have a technical internship on my resumé,” senior Michael Daigler said. “The only challenge I faced was that I lacked social interaction because I was either tucked away in a corner or in a lab with nobody else in it.”
photo by Alexander Brown 

  The internships consisted of much more than just fetching coffee, with students learning skills such as modeling fluid flow in robots, mixing chemical powders and writing computer programs. “I used machine learning libraries in Python, like Caras, to model the flow of a fluid such as air or water around a two-dimensional object or arbitrary shape,” senior Ted Xie said. “I got a lot better at Python, which is great, and I learned more about machine learning and how to apply it to problems. I can see myself doing more programming for my career. I don’t know about machine learning specifically; however, I do find it very interesting.”

     Although they may not have known their plans for the future, their time on the campus provided the interns with a chance to get some ideas. “It was a good opportunity to learn more about if I wanted to do science in the future, and it gave me a better understanding of what I would be seeing in the future,” junior Esha Soni said. “I have always been really interested in chemistry and science and it just made me want to do the internship more. It helped me know how people in the science community at Corning work, and how their normal lives are, and how they communicate with one another.” 


    The experience involved following a dress code and professional work procedures to give the interns a realistic impression of the jobs that are offered at Corning. “It’s all very formal, and you even have to mark the classification for all the documents you create, which is how long Corning has to legally keep them,” junior Mikko Neukirch said. “You have to schedule a meeting to get into a room, so you can’t just show up. It’s very formalized every step of the way.”

     Despite the short two-month experience, their time at Sullivan Park presented interns with life lessons about careers and what goes on behind the scenes. “I hadn’t worked in a corporate environment before, and I thought I’d figure out more how it is versus being in a more team-based environment than just on my robotics team,” Neukirch said. “Now I know what to expect when I’m working in a bigger company and I might go back to Corning when I grow up.”

IB Studying
In his IB HL 1 Math Class, junior Oliver Guy works on a review packet. Internships emphasized opportunities in STEM disciplines, including engineering and math. photo by Sophia McNamara