The third part of my summer was spent at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I worked in the Robotics Department on an assortment of projects. Most of what I did was spend time in front of a computer researching how to work with programming and certain electronics. It was frustrating at times, especially the start when I had no concept of how/where to begin, but the people were awesome and the time flew by. The working environment at Sandia was so different from the Academy and military in general. The hours weren’t as structured, the uniform was civilian clothes and I was a first name basis with everyone, including people with multiple Ph.D.s. I went biking with my boss and co-workers, I attended trainings and heard guest speakers, and I met with other faculty and staff to learn about their missions and jobs. I can’t speak of most of what I saw, but it opened my eyes to the possibilities of engineering and studying outside of the Coast Guard.
Outside of work, other the students from other service academies and I went on road trips, hiking, biking, on trams, out to eat, celebrated a few 21st birthdays, went swimming in a diving hole, explored the Carlsbad Caverns, went sledding on white sand, and just generally explored the area until time ran out and we left for our three weeks of leave at home.
More about Jessica.