Hajim Spotlights

Sara Apanavicius

Class year: 2020
Major: chemical engineering

Where did you intern?

Systems Planning and Analysis Inc.

What work did you do as an intern?

I supported the Integrated Warfare Systems Above Water Sensors Program Executive Office in creating the proposal for the air and missile defense radar.

How did you obtain this opportunity? What was the application process like?

I reached out on Meliora Collective to a UR alumni who works at SPA about internship opportunities for engineers.

Did you work with anyone to help find and/or pursue this opportunity?

David Duryea, a University of Rochester alumni who now works at SPA.

What did you gain from this experience?

I learned that you don't need to be a technical expert in the field as long as you have good problem solving and communication skills. Being able to work through and convey the message to others is more important at times than knowing every detail.

Any particularly memorable experiences?

My most memorable experiences were seeing in person the radars that are used on Navy ships and then visiting Carderock.

Any advice for other students who are interested in pursuing an internship?

Use LinkedIn and Meliora Collective, and don't be afraid to reach out on them. It's awkward at first but networking does go a long way.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that wasn’t asked?

I never considered government contracting but it's a great field for someone who doesn't know exactly what they are interested in. You get exposed to many different engineering disciplines depending on the contract at hand.