Alex Ramos Profile
This internship had me undergo an extensive training process, where I was able to understand the ethical map of the research process.
Name:  Alex Ramos
Major:  Bioengineering
Employer:  Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Undergraduate Research Program (LSAMP URP)
Location:  College Park, MD

How did you find your internship and what was the hiring process like?   I found this internship through my peers in my major and through the LSAMP email chain I was subscribed to. Additionally, I spoke to other students who had done the internship the year prior. After submitting my application, the interview process felt very easy and comfortable, which was a relief as it was during the rise of the COVID lockdown.

What campus activities or courses do you think helped you, or would have helped you, with this internship?  Being a member of Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Office of Multiethnic Student Education and Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering definitely helped me successfully maneuver this internship. I had such a large network of people that had undergone something similar to what I was doing and who were able to answer my questions and clarify my concerns. My foundational biology classes also helped me understand the preliminary information (BSCI222, BSCI330).

How would you describe the company culture? What was the most helpful thing your supervisor did to make you feel comfortable at the organization?    The LSAMP culture really roots itself in embracing the individuality and work ethic of minorities in Engineering. Every week, there were meetings with supervisors where the interns could voice their concerns in an open environment, and also be guided along with connection to different resources on and off campus. 

Did the internship provide a solid education in professional ethics? If so, how?   This internship had me undergo an extensive training process, where I was able to understand the ethical map of the research process.  After being exposed to different forms of cheating, manipulation, or plagiarism in dirty research, I was able to get a clearer understanding of ethical research, and further tuned my moral compass in a professional setting.

What advice would you give other UMD engineering students seeking an internship or co-op position?   Internships and co-ops are designed for students to receive the most out of their experience at organizations.  Doing preliminary research, on both the position you are applying for and the values of the company, will definitely give you an idea of what you will get out of any experience.