End of Summer Reflection

Hey everyone! Today is the last day of my CBE dates, and I am thrilled to be extending my contract with the Virgil Group to continue working full-time as a Research Analyst for the duration of the year.

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

The research that I completed this summer with the Virgil Group has truly helped the development of their software and consulting work. I have been able to sit in on meetings, conduct vast amounts of research in areas I haven’t explored before, and also see the company grow. In August, Virgil Group received a grant from Schmidt Marine which was so exciting and affirms the product Virgil is building. I feel very lucky to have been with the company to see the process of receiving this as well. With that, the research that I have completed and will continue to work on has greatly helped the software and product development.

Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally.

Professionally, the primary benefit is that my contract has been extended. I have enjoyed working in this role and with this company for the entire duration of my time and it’s gratifying to have developed great professional relationships and work in an environment where everyone is animated about what we are building. Additionally, this was my first time working in a paid research role and it was eye-opening. It’s an area that I have worked in for internships and academics for targeted briefs and feel comfortable in, however it is different to conduct research for the purpose of product development especially when the product is being developed in real-time. At times I would conclude research in certain areas, but it would still feel unfinished even though I knew I had exhausted all avenues. Although having these growing pains have been extremely beneficial, and now in this role I have a higher-level of confidence and am interested in pursuing a career which includes research and development. I enjoy how in this position I am not just checking boxes but am continuing to learn.

Personally, I learned or rather confirmed what I value in a career which is work life balance. Working remote has given me the chance to incorporate everyday life into work which I really enjoy. Additionally, it also allows me to travel and still work at the same time which is my favorite thing. The past two weeks for example I have been working full-time, but also traveled to visit family which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I were working in person.

Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?

This experience working for the Virgil Group definitely provided me with some unexpected and also expected discoveries about myself in the professional world. I probably already covered them above, but I reaffirmed that I really enjoy research since I’m constantly learning while doing it. This is actually one of the main reasons I decided to go to grad school, because I wanted to work in the environmental sector and because I wanted to keep learning. This role has confirmed for me that in the rest of my career whatever job I have will need to require some level of research that way I can continue to learn new things. Additionally, working in this role and still being able to travel has also reaffirmed my desire to travel, which is another aspect that I will be looking for in whatever future job I have after my time at Virgil.

One of the times I went hiking in Big Sur for an evening work break.

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