http://www.pnnl.gov

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Software Engineering Intern

May 2020 • Richland, WA

What I liked

My internship was remote, and the IT personnel at PNNL did a fantastic job of ensuring that I and my fellow interns had all of the equipment and software that we needed to contribute effectively towards our teams' projects. Also, the project managers and other team members did a great job of communicating and making sure that we had a remarkable internship experience.

What I wish was different

It would have been nice to work in the same physical location as my coworkers, but obviously this was not a viable or safe option during the spring and summer of 2020.

Advice

Be proactive in finding opportunities for tasks during an internship. Take deadlines seriously, but also do your best to pursue professional development and networking opportunities outside of project work.
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Tech Student 3

September 2017 • Richland, WA

What I liked

I am able to learn and explore a lot of different technologies used at the lab. I also get to contribute to meaningful projects that have an impact.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Undergraduate Intern

March 2019 • Seattle, WA

What I liked

The flexibility regarding my priorities for school as well as opportunities to attend conferences as part of the Lab.

What I wish was different

None really. It has been really great.

Advice

Be flexible, coordinate with your higher-ups,showcase your skills, and be a sponge and soak in all of the learning available. Don't be afraid to branch out.
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Technical Intern

June 2019 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Excellent experience.

What I wish was different

Advice

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High Performance Computing Intern

June - August 2019 • Richland, WA

What I liked

I liked that I learned a lot of new things and had close mentorship.

What I wish was different

Advice

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Software Engineering Intern

June 2017 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Learning in a work environment, getting to meet researchers from across the lab. Solve complex business problems.

What I wish was different

I missed out on some of the cool tours.

Advice

Networking should be your number one priority as an intern.
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Tech student

May 2019 • Seattle, WA

What I liked

Environment and the people were fantastic.

What I wish was different

N/A

Advice

Take a look through all the programs they offer.
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Project Controls Intern

June - August 2019 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Fun projects and very relevant experience for my future goals

What I wish was different

Less government bureaucracy

Advice

Sometimes you have to disagree and commit when you don't agree on specific inefficient practices.
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SULI Research Intern

May - August 2019 • Sequim, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed the research I took part in--I worked in analytical environmental chemistry, characterizing a passive sampling device prior to field use. I was offered a lot of independence in my work and my input was valued. I also really enjoyed the friendly and supportive work environment of the Marine Sciences Laboratory.

What I wish was different

The workplace as a whole was very interdisciplinary, which I really enjoyed. However, I was in one of the only chemistry-based labs, so it was hard to talk about issues I was experiencing with my fellow interns, most of whom were in biology-based labs.

Advice

Don't be afraid to apply for internships or jobs far away from your hometown. I'm originally from Ohio and spending the summer in the Olympic Peninsula seemed intimidating at first, but it opened up new avenues for connections and familiarity with the field in which I'm interested. The administration at MSL was very helpful in finding the interns housing and answering questions we had about the area.
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Electrical Eng Intern

June - September 2019 • Richland, WA

What I liked

The national lab has lots of summer activities for interns. There are work-life balance. I collaborated in the multidisciplinary team and learn a lots from them.

What I wish was different

I wish I have more time to work and study there.

Advice

Be mindful and curious about different projects. Ask questions to learn more.
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UI/UX Designer Intern

June 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Small community environment and personal connections

What I wish was different

Connecting with other UX designers and working on other projects that I am interested.

Advice

Being open minded and adapt the pace of the company
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Nuclear physicist intern

June - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

My mentor and the research

What I wish was different

Being in a different directorate

Advice

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Electronics Engineering Intern

September 2017 - June 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Hands on work, impactful projects, everyone is eager to help you learn

What I wish was different

Projects can get tense when funding starts to run out near end of fiscal year, they are good at making sure interns have things to do but full time employees otherwise have to seek out projects to work on

Advice

Make the most of your internship by seeking out projects that sound interesting and network with other groups to learn more about what kind of projects/research is happening at the lab
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Tech Student

June 2016 • Richland, WA

What I liked

There is a lot of freedom to explore not only the group you are hired into but, you also get the opportunity to meet and network with a lot of other scientists. I also like how willing a lot of the scientists are to help students learn and grow. The campus is beautiful and they have a lot of summer events to help students network and meet other interns.

What I wish was different

I wish when I came to pullman there was a way I could have worked for them remotely but, most of my work was in the lab.

Advice

Don't be scared to ask questions, scientist's love talking about themselves and their work, you can learn a lot if you listen with open ears. Also, don't be scared to ask for more work, or ask to help another scientist with their work. Don't be that intern who sits on facebook all day, get to know your peers and and get known for the right reasons.
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Tech Student

June - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

Scientists at PNNL are eager to teach you new skills and want you to succeed.

What I wish was different

I wish i could have spent more time there!

Advice

Go in willing to learn as much as you can!
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Tech Student Intern

June - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

I enjoyed learning more about the field of applied statistics and computational modeling, and gaining experience with these tools in a research setting. I enjoyed making connections with my mentor an other full time research scientists at the Lab, as well as with other interns!

What I wish was different

I wish I had had more background experience with several computer programming languages, as I experienced a big learning curve in this area upon arriving at the Lab.

Advice

I had the chance to be involved in four different projects and though this was, at times, challenging to balance, and I am very grateful to have been exposed to each one. It was helpful to be open to trying new projects in various areas, even -- or especially -- when I didn't know much about the topics before. I learned so much through the internship about a diverse set of research projects.
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Research intern

June - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Get to know people inside and outside your field of study while there. Networking is key you never know who you will meet, or what opportunities may arise for you.
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Effluent Management Intern

June - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

The pay was good and I learned a lot about technical writing.

What I wish was different

There was not a lot of field work and not much about the job or on-goings was explained to me.

Advice

Ask questions.
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SULI Program Intern

May - August 2018 • Richland, WA

What I liked

I loved being involved in an innovative yet collaborative research environment. I was encouraged to think outside the box in solving problems but had the support necessary to be successful when I was unsure.

What I wish was different

Advice

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