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Internship Spotlight: Amanda Dias ’24

 

 

Name: Amanda Dias

Expected Graduation: May 2024

Major: Biomedical Engineering

On-campus Involvement:

  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Theta Tau
  • Team Engineering
  • Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Biomedical Engineering Society
  • Tutoring Calculus through the Tutoring Center
  • Honors Program
  • Undergraduate Research

Internship Details:

Where and When Did You Intern?

I had the incredible opportunity to intern at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, with NASA. My internship took place in the Cardiovascular and Vision Laboratory.

How Did You Discover the Internship, and What Was the Interview Process Like?

I first learned about this opportunity through TCNJ Biomedical Engineering professor Dr. Anthony Lau. Expressing my deep interest in the laboratory, I reached out to the head researcher and had a meeting to discuss my enthusiasm for their work.

Describe Your Role:

My primary responsibility during the internship was to analyze subject data, specifically focusing on systolic and diastolic blood pressures as well as heart rate. I utilized the computational engineering software MATLAB to perform these analyses.

What Was an Average Day Like?

Every day at the Johnson Space Center was an exciting adventure, offering unique experiences. On Mondays, I attended captivating student lectures where astronauts, flight surgeons, and directors shared their personal experiences and insights about working at NASA. Additionally, I had the privilege of participating in tours of fascinating facilities such as the neutral buoyancy laboratory, systems engineering building, and an Orion mockup.

What Was Your Most Memorable Moment During the Internship?

Selecting just one memorable moment from this incredible experience is challenging. However, some standout memories include touring crew modules, participating as a test subject in one of the lab’s studies, and experiencing a simulated “walk on Mars.”

What Have You Learned from This Experience?

My internship at NASA’s Johnson Space Center was a transformative experience that reaffirmed my passion for cardiovascular physiology. It also deepened my appreciation for human research related to spaceflight. This opportunity has solidified my desire to potentially pursue a career with NASA in the future.

One Skill You Feel You Improved Upon During the Internship:

Throughout the summer, I significantly enhanced my computational skills, thanks to the demanding tasks at hand. Additionally, I sharpened my interpersonal skills as I collaborated with a diverse group of professionals and researchers.

Any Advice for Aspiring Interns?

For those seeking internships, I would strongly recommend reaching out to individuals in your network. Networking can often lead to unexpected opportunities, and you may have connections you’re unaware of until you initiate a conversation with faculty members or friends. Remember to have confidence in yourself; even when you doubt your capabilities, you are more capable than you realize. Trust in your abilities and seize every chance to learn and grow.