Through this blog, we will spotlight Otterbein students who are engaging in internships and professional experiences in a variety of industries and geographic locations. We will also share tips and advice on searching for internships and making the most of internship experiences.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Elizabeth Isaac '18 - University of Central Florida, Chemistry Department

Name: Elizabeth Isaac 
Class Year: 2018
Major: Chemistry
Internship Site: University of Central Florida-Chemistry Department

In the photo I am working with a small laser setup. I am practicing aligning and focusing the laser before using the larger laser in lab.

Internship Responsibilities: This summer I was excited to be a part of the Preparing Future Researchers program at the University of Central Florida. I was assigned to intern with the Kuebler group in the chemistry department. Alongside a graduate mentor, I assisted with the fabrication of micro scale devices called waveguides. These waveguides were created with a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser, and it was super fun to work with. The purpose of the waveguides we created is to transfer data via light rather than electronically, thus making chip to chip interactions in computers much faster. 

What I Learned: It was very exciting to join a group doing such ground breaking work. Through this experience I learned what it truly meant to be a scientist. There is a lot of failure involved in research before a successful outcome is achieved. For the first couple of weeks our waveguides weren't fabricating properly. Instead of being disheartened by the lack of results, my graduate mentor and I tried different methods until we finally found one that worked. It took nearly a month before we had any waveguides, but it was an extremely satisfying feeling to look in a microscope and see them on the slide. Through research I've learned that one must persevere instead of giving up when things don't go exactly as planned. There is often another route or direction to take to get your desired outcome rather than the one you originally undertook.

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