AAAS interns spent the summer immersed in a range of projects, from attending a retreat for Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion’s efforts to integrate science into seminary coursework to picking out the cover photo for an issue of Science magazine. The internship was a hands-on learning experience that they will carry with them into their future studies and research, according to several interns. Learn more as several AAAS 2022 interns reflect on what they learned and offer advice to future interns.
What was your favorite task or project that you worked on this summer?
Ari Navetta, Experts on Camera Intern for SciLine: I have really enjoyed editing the interviews SciLine conducts with experts. These interviews go on our website so reporters who aren’t able to make our sessions can still have great scientific information to use in their reporting. It’s very satisfying to take a messy video file, straight from a Zoom recording, and turn it into a completed interview with graphics.
Rosalind Lucier, Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion Intern: My main task and certainly my favorite task for this internship was assisting with the Science for Seminaries project, which provides grants to integrate science into seminary courses. I was able to fully immerse myself in the project by attending a retreat in Maine with seminary faculty, scientist advisers and the DoSER team. This experience was very valuable as I continued to work on Science for Seminaries project goals throughout my internship. I could put names to faces and think back to my conversations with faculty as I combed through faculty and student feedback and worked on an article about the retreat.
Khafia Choudhary, Science Visuals Intern: My favorite project that I got to work on this summer would be a tie between hosting a podcast segment on interstellar space probes and the heliosphere in light of a feature article from the magazine or getting to do photo research to choose the cover photo for a special issue on grass of the magazine.
What is something you learned this summer at your internship?
Ari Navetta: Interacting with local reporters from across the country, I’ve learned a lot about the news industry – how broad it is, how much reporting is produced by a relatively small and low-resourced industry – and gained even more respect for these reporters and all they accomplish on a daily basis.
Rosalind Lucier: I gained a new perspective to bring to scientific research, science communication and science engagement. Through this internship, I had some wonderful experiences talking to diverse groups, and I learned about how to find a starting point for conversations about science and religion and society.
Khafia Choudhary: I learned so many things at this internship, but I think the most important thing I learned was that how there are so many details, steps and so much effort put into the creation of a quality magazine. From a reader’s perspective it may seem effortless and that maybe only a team of four or five people are necessary to create a magazine of the quality and level Science magazine is. Having shadowed and observed the amount of planning, work and attention to detail that it requires – as well as the number of people who are involved and have crucial roles in the making of the product – I have seen how incorrect that belief is and how much hard work and dedication is required to produce a magazine that is accurate and visually stunning.
What are your plans for this fall?
Ari Navetta: I will be continuing as a junior at Tufts University studying cognitive and brain science.
Rosalind Lucier: I received a Fulbright fellowship to Germany to conduct research in biochemistry beginning this September.
Khafia Choudhary: I will be continuing my education at George Mason University as a graphic design and journalism student.
What lessons from your internship will you take with you in your future endeavors?
Ari Navetta: An important lesson I’ve learned, even if it wasn't a huge surprise, is how important a team is to a good work environment. I loved the work I did at SciLine, though I think I could have been doing just about anything and enjoyed it thanks to the incredible group of people I got to work with and their thoughtful conversations about the news industry, frequent pictures of pets and welcoming environment.
Rosalind Lucier: I know that I will bring a broadened viewpoint to my scientific research and public engagement. I have learned a lot about scientific advocacy and the value of understanding the perspectives of difference audiences when communicating science, including the importance of finding connections and commonalities with others.
Khafia Choudhary: There are so many, other than all the actual design, technical and visuals-related knowledge I have learned from the wonderful members of the visuals team. I also learned how crucial cross-communication between different teams is in order to produce something that is accurate and of the highest quality! I thought it was amazing how the different teams, even within the visuals department itself, would communicate with each other in order to make things run more smoothly and to make interesting and innovative visuals.
What advice would you give to future AAAS interns?
Ari Navetta: Ask questions! This is not the most original advice, but no matter where you’re working within AAAS, you’ll be exposed to lots of very smart, passionate people, any of whom will be more than happy to talk with you about their work, learning new skills, career advice or anything else you’re interested in.
Rosalind Lucier: Learn and absorb what you can. There is an amazing community at AAAS, and I would encourage future interns to stay curious (about your projects, but really anything else that you happen to come across while interning) and stay connected to the people that you meet.
Khafia Choudhary: Ask as many questions and shadow as many people as you can! Everyone is kind and willing to help, and shadowing can help you figure out what you want to focus on. It can also expose you to different types of work that you may had never even imagined being interested in.
In one word, how would you describe your summer internship with AAAS?
Ari Navetta: Foundational.
Rosalind Lucier: Eye-opening.
Khafia Choudhary: Fascinating!
Visit aaas.org/careers/internship-opportunities to learn more about interning at AAAS.