UCLA summer program equips students with career development tools

summer

By Karla Comayagua and Lizbeth Trujillo

Five Granada Hills Charter High School students were selected to join the the Summer Research Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Juniors Katie Barajas, Jeremiah Coleman, Angelica Injejikian, Madilyn McDougall, and Ethan Snook will take part in this eight week program that offers exceptional students the opportunity to work with professionals and gain experience in academic careers such as engineering.

For this prestigious program, UCLA uses the following criteria for selecting students:  grades and test scores, letters of recommendation, extra curricular activities, and personal statements on why they should be selected for the program.

The program emphasizes experimentation specifically in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, which will help students when they are conducting research in engineering. Learning these strategies while working closely with a professional that matches the career interest will provide these students with an advantage when looking for a job in teaching or research.

“[Through this program] I will gain researching skills in a lab/scientific setting and get a glimpse into college including the process of researching on a college campus,” Coleman said.

The program offers presentations from the UCLA engineering faculty, which will allow students to listen to an engineering professor and have the opportunity to ask questions on their research, lab spaces, advanced equipment, lab mates, existing and future research, and even pictures of labs in action.

Additionally, UCLA’s engineering program will provide students with an incredibly unique opportunity to work on individual research during the eight weeks. The experience is beneficial for those who were chosen to participate in the program because most of the participants wish to major in engineering.

Students will be able to incorporate their personal experiences with both the engineering field and engineering professionals in their future college experiences.

Overall, students will gain a plethora of new skills and experiences that will open many doors for them and ensure them a bright future in engineering.

“I feel that this program will foster my fascination with the sciences and encourage me to move forward in a career in STEM. I look forward to being in the UCLA engineering labs and facilities and learning from the professors and graduate students I will be working with this summer,” McDougall said.

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