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Olu Roberts

Organization: Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
Dates: June 5, 2018 to August 5, 2018

In Olu's own words

How I contributed: This project’s focus is designed to support the field staff of the Cornell Cooperative Extension C.C.E. The CCE has collaborated with Cornell’s CEA unit to conduct workshops to promote the development of a sustainable Hydroponic Production Systems for Strawberry Production in the New York State. I was assigned to the Dr. Timmons’ Aquaculture Lab group of Cornell’s Biological and Environmental Engineering as an agricultural technical consulting intern in the greenhouse agriculture production and market space. I was tasked to conduct a research, analyze current trends, provide feedback and report on the findings, then recommend a conceptual design for the end-user dashboard with components essential to developing a final product. The end users are farmers in the NYS area. One key element this dashboard needs to be simple but essential to these end-users.

What I felt most challenged by: With no room to be micro-managed, I had to hit the ground running. I realized creating technical designs for a large agricultural project that needs to be kept simple for the end-user was a big challenge. A technical consultant must have patience when starting from scratch and has a quick turn-around time. I had to research, collate and decipher academic literature for my assignments. My PI was very supportive and helped me to be productive. Additionally, the end-user and the people that your project will be supporting needs results and quality deliverables. I was able to interact with plant scientists, technical personnel and researchers who were very helpful in giving me advice. Fundamentally, I was forced to think outside of the box and experienced the challenges faced by consultants.

What I enjoyed most: I really enjoyed the fact that I was given the freedom to create my own ideas and bring them to the discussion table. I was given full support in conceptualizing, and even the Professors were readily available to try new ideas I presented them. I am grateful I had the experience to see how it was to work as a member of a large team. Everyone had their own assignments, and each played an essential role in solving a big problem. Although this internship was done on Cornell’s campus I had the chance to be part of a major research project at an Ivy League University. I've traveled to India, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean, but an Internship in the United States is a unique experience because it’s so fast-paced. Overall, contributing my inputs to the group felt rewarding and appreciated.

Would I recommend this experience: Yes, I would recommend interning at the Cornell CEA and Dr. Timmonds lab group to other students especially those with a strong interdisciplinary background even though not necessary. The group has different areas for supporting students interests. Just be dedicated and be ready to work. IOT is not just a key component in agriculture but is being used in many development projects especially areas of environmental sustainability and data analysis. The entire staff and support group at the CEA/BEE was very welcoming and it is a great place to conduct interdisciplinary research. I am glad that my efforts will contribute to the farmers and CCE field staff. It’s a great place to meet people, learn about plants, greenhouses, technology and also develop the needed skill set for your portfolio.

Jehee Um2

Organization: World Resources Institute
Dates: 5/23/2016 to 7/12/2016
Web page:

In Jehee's own words

How I contributed: I prepared literature reviews and write ups for my supervisor that mainly worked toward developing WRI's knowledge products in partnership with the GIZ and the Green Climate Fund.

What I felt most challenged by: The most challenging aspect was getting used to having a set routine everyday and the working environment in general. Going to a city where I knew almost no one and having the autonomy to eat what I want and do what I want was a challenge in itself because I wanted to push myself to be more proactive.

What I enjoyed most: Being in DC was awesome and meeting new colleagues at WRI was a great experience. There's a lot to see in the city with events happening every weekend so the city was never boring. At WRI, they had a annual summer internship program, which made it easy to meet new people and make friends.

Would I recommend this experience: I would definitely recommend a summer internship at WRI because it truly is a thorough learning experience of both the work environment and the development field as they have programs that encompass almost all aspects of development. Gaining exposure to not only professionals but also the kind of work they do was crucial to learning what kind of work I would want to do for the future. Thus, this experience is definitely recommended.

Jehee Um

Organization: International Food Policy Research Institute
Dates: 5/27/2014 to 7/26/2014
Web page:

In Jehee's own words

How I contributed: I was asked to do a lot of research on policy dialogues and other international organizations globally in order to determine a more effective way of eradicating hunger and aiding developing countries. I also met with a lot of other interns and employees at IFPRI to expand my knowledge of the organization's familial community. All in all, I contributed to a working paper for the "Development, Strategy and Government" division for building partnerships with other organizations worldwide.

What I felt most challenged by: I think the most challenging aspect of being an intern in an international organization was being able to keep up with some of the professional language and writing style being used and expected of. Being my first experience with work, working at IFPRI truly pushed my boundaries in terms of being more outgoing and attempting to meet more people while also putting my skills as a researching and writer.

What I enjoyed most: The working environment at IFPRI is extremely welcoming and friendly which made going to work such a good experience. I was able to talk to a lot of other people about their paths and why they were working in this field which made me feel more inspired to pursue my dreams and this major. I had a nice office shared with two other interns (for half my time there) and was able to meet good friends and amazing mentors who I feel like I can definitely talk to when need be.

Would I recommend this experience: I definitely would recommend interning at IFPRI to other students because I think it's always a great opportunity to be working with such a credible organization but that also is extremely welcoming to new interns and employees. As it is a research institute, IFPRI is a great place to meet people in this field who are specialized and have some of the highest degrees of education; ultimately to be inspired and to get advice as well.

Kamran Safarli

Organization: Haliburton
Dates: 6/7/2013 to 8/21/2013
Web page:

In Kamran's own words

How I contributed: I did a summer internship within FInance group at Halliburton Energy Services. I worked for E-Commerce Group. E-Commerce Group mission is to reduce the Daily Sales Outstanding(DSO) of the company through the enablement of electronic integrations for the exchange of commercial documents with our customers. I researched and reached out to 120 Halliburton Customers who have an account of less than $1000,000 greater than $100,000. With a success rate of 23%, I integrated 30 customers into Halliburton E-Billing network. I also utilized statistical programming language R to analyze patterns by which customer disputes occur.I identified  customers, billers, billing locations , and type of mistakes that have highest rate of errors. Integrating new customers into the Halliburton networks had the following benefits for the company: Faster Invoice Deliver to specific group / department within Halliburton, faster dispute resolution, paperless efficiency, improved cash flow-on time payment

What I felt most challenged by: My supervisor asked me to identify patterns which might lead to higher than average invoice disputes with customers. Having some experience in data mining from my previous internship at Princeton Computational Biology summer program, I applied my knowledge of R into analysis financial data. I felt challenged using R for financial data analysis, as I only used this programming language with biological data. Having spent some time adjusting, I was able to implement the language with my financial data sets.

What I enjoyed most: During last few weeks of my internship, I utilized my knowledge of Russian and Azerbaijani languages to reach out to Halliburton customers who are located in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, where only a minimal percent of invoicing is done electronically. It was a pleasant experience to put my bilingual abilities to use.

Would I recommend this experience: I really enjoyed the corporate culture within Halliburton. They took a great care of their interns. They placed me in a hotel near the company headquarters at no charge, paid my round-trip flight from New York to Houston and the pay was great. As a part of our internship, we had weekly presentations from different departments at Halliburton, which helped us to understand company culture in broader terms. Also, we had many field trips to different campuses of Halliburton.