Atharva Paralikar profile
Leveraging the advancements in robotics for the betterment of Healthcare has been rewarding, both personally as well as professionally.
Name:  Atharva Paralikar
Major:  Professional Masters of Robotics
Employer:  Childrens National Medical Center
Location:  Washington, DC
What have been the most interesting aspects of your internship?    I worked alongside some of the most Intelligent and resourceful people in Medical Robotics Research. Leveraging the advancements in robotics for the betterment of Healthcare has been rewarding, both personally as well as professionally.
What campus activities or courses do you think helped you, or would have helped you, with this internship?    The courses offered by the Robotics program, covering the topics such as Planning (ENPM661), Controls (ENPM667), Perception (ENPM673), and Programming courses(ENPM809Y, ENPM663) proved very helpful. They helped to build a solid foundation for core concepts in robotics. The projects completed in these courses were instrumental in setting me up for success in this Internship.

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 company culture is very friendly and encouraging. New ideas are appreciated and welcomed. The most important thing that made me feel comfortable, was the trust my supervisor Dr. Reza Monfaredi put in me to have the final say in implementing ideas on my project.

Was there diversity among your colleagues within the department and throughout your internship/co-op experience?    The Research Team at Children's National Medical Center is a very diverse mix of scientists, doctors, and engineers from all over the world collaborating on different projects. I was fortunate to interact, exchange ideas and contribute to multiple projects.

Did the internship provide a solid education in professional ethics? If so, how?    The internship involved collaborating with a lot of accomplished people in the field. I had to be very professional in my documentation and interactions. So, yes I did get solid experience in professional ethics during this internship.

How have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this internship experience?    I always wanted to work on something that has a direct impact on the lives of people and is fulfilling. This Internship gave me a taste of the dynamic and highly evolving field of Medical robotics. I plan to continue working in this field.

What advice would you give other UMD engineering students seeking an internship or co-op position?    A couple of things to remember when starting an internship. The internship is for your learning. Make that your priority. Be open to ideas from your colleagues if you feel stuck on a problem, they might just work or provide a different perspective.