5 Tips for Summer Students
interns at JPL, summer 2009Interns at JPL, summer 2009. Image credit: NASA/JPL Every summer, students participate in academic programs at NASA field centers across the country. Most are college or graduate students accepted to a wide range of NASA education programs. These programs also bring in some high school students, postdoctoral candidates and college faculty. We polled current student groups and some advisers for tips to pass along.

1. Network
As students, you are at your NASA center to conduct research projects or work in a summer job. However, you are also here because you probably want to work for NASA some day or pursue an engineering- or science-related career. Take time to meet some of the talented scientists and engineers who make space missions happen. Getting to know people now will help when you apply for your next internship or job. And don't forget to meet the other students -- they may be valuable contacts too.

2. Participate
Don't stay in your assigned lab or cubicle all day. Find out what activities you can attend. There may be lectures or tours. It's all part of the experience.

3. Ask Questions
Scientists and engineers are curious by nature! Ask your mentor or colleagues questions about your job, how NASA works and how they came to work at NASA. Find out what schools they attended and see if those are schools to consider for yourself.

4. Dress Code
Comfortable and casual is the rule at most centers but it is a professional work environment. Use common sense, as first impressions are important. Casual dress is fine, but definitely not beach wear. Also, bring one business outfit if you are required to make a final presentation.

5. Have Fun
NASA is a unique place so have a great time finding out what we do!
Written by Susan Watanabe
NASA/JPL Education