But the mentors, role models, and teachers who inspired these students are perhaps the biggest influence drawing them to their fields. Kwagalakwe and Pennsylvania State University’s Prabhav Borate saw the patience, dedication, and success of friends and family members in advanced fields and wanted to emulate them. Acevedo says the passion of his teachers at the Science Academy of South Texas changed his life: “If I could go back in time and retake all of my classes with my teachers again, I would.” The guidance and what Northwestern University’s Anjali Thota calls “joy of intellectual exploration” of professors and colleagues inspired Thota, Tully, and Pradhan. And Maharjan lauds several ‘she-roes’ at Second Chance at Higher Education as inspiration: “I owe my current position to them, eight amazing women who continue to inspire me daily. They encourage me to value my opportunities and to give back to future generations of high school students.”
The passion, challenge, and inspiration that drew these students to their fields is now driving them to bolster their skills and hands-on experience. In this pursuit, the Geothermal INTERN Opportunity presents something unique. In contrast to a traditional internship scenario, this opportunity enables the student to identify the research opportunities that best serve their career goals, with the help of their principal investigator (PI). The student and PI can then reach out to a partner in the geothermal industry to craft an internship just for that student. In fact, many cohort members echoed the sentiment that this opportunity offers a perfect alignment of their academic interests with real-world applications in geothermal energy.
Watch for the next blog in this series to find out what these students experienced in their internships!