For senior Alana Swinton of Gloucester County, NJ, the resources available on Rowan’s campus were essential in scoring an opportunity as a conservation scientist at the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute this summer. Her chemistry major and physics minor at Rowan have provided her with the necessary experience that gave her an advantage when applying for internships.
As a conservation scientist, Alana analyzes dyes and glass samples to help the Institute develop new ionization processes. She is responsible for implementing these new discoveries for other biological materials as needed and documenting
the results, playing an important role in aiding the discovery of new materials for the Institute. Being a part of a research group such as this one helps students to develop the laboratory techniques and etiquette that will guide them towards a successful career in STEM fields.
Finding internships is relatively easy, but narrowing down opportunities to perfectly suit your majors and passions can be a bit difficult. The resources provided by the Office of Career Management “helped greatly with coming into a science-oriented internship” according to Alana, and cultivated her previous strengths and knowledge gained on campus into a great enhancement to her career experience. She notes the help of her professors for “making sure [she] was mentally prepared for these outside-the-classroom opportunities,” and believes her two jobs on campus — one of which as an admissions ambassador — for improving her public speaking and social skills, which are needed in a lab environment. Serving as the treasurer of Rowan’s Advancing Chemical Society has provided her with the leadership skills that she uses in the lab, too!
Alana’s appreciation for this internship stems from her ability to “conserve cultural heritage” through her studies at the Institute and “being able to analyze something and realize that you are helping society with your skills.”
Her advice to Rowan students seeking opportunities as cool as hers? “Don’t doubt yourself. Even if you think you may not perfectly meet the requirements for an opportunity, go for it. Follow through with what you want to do, because you never know can happen if you try.”
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By: Nicole Cier, junior writing arts major