Lancer of the Week: Alex Tran applies his knowledge at Johns Hopkins APL

During high school, Alex Tran has been a part of varsity tennis, FCPS all-county orchestra, and achieved a 4.0 GPA. His most significant accomplishment, though,  is his internship that will lead to his future career.

Tran is involved in an internship (now a full-time summer job) at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics lab under the APL web management program. He works in user-based testing, providing data feedback and testing analysis for the web services. He provides maintenance and brainstorming for the New York services. He also helps test for new web systems that are being proposed and active by students in APL web.

Tran applied through their ASPIRE internship program.

According to JHUAPL, “The ASPIRE program at APL is the opportunity for juniors and seniors in high school to get hands-on experience in STEM and to explore career opportunities before committing to an area of study in college. The ASPIRE program is a learning experience that exposes students to the real-world applications of what they are learning in school as well as to what it is like to work in a professional environment.”

Tran traveled to his internship 4 days a week (Monday-Thursday), and it is approximately a 40-55 minute drive.

Tran started his internship the summer before his junior year and continued during his senior year. He is now accepted to the program as a college-level intern. In the past years, he was accepted as a visitor but will be receiving a college-level security clearance for this coming year.

Tran said, “Internships help students explore what types of skills they need for the field of interest they want to study in which is important because I feel it is always good to have high experience coming into college or high-level education when studying. It helps you further your knowledge to see if the field you want to study is a good fit for you. If it doesn’t work then you can say at least you tried and now you know.”

During his internship, Tran learned how to work as a team in a professional setting. He learned a lot from the work environment that you can’t learn in the classroom. He feels classrooms are more of an educational experience with knowledge-driven aspects, but an internship allows you to learn more outside of the classroom.

“You don’t learn collaboration and working as a team in the classroom, which is a very big aspect in the working environment,” Tran said.

While working he also learned how to be a lot more social and grew when talking to strangers and adults. Tran learned how to be more friendly, cooperative, and collaborative.

Tran said, “When working with others, I can apply what I know and learned so we can communicate about providing a better solution for problems that we both experience.”

His favorite part of the job is meeting other people, both interns, and employees. He likes learning about projects they are working on in the lab. Tran will be attending the University of Maryland. He will be pursuing a career in cyber-security under a computer engineering major.

If you would like to apply to the APL program the deadline is June 1st,
Click here to apply!