We are excited to announce that Knox College has received one of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's #Humanitie...
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Majors in Computer Science and Integrative Business & Management.
Charles interned remotely with the strategic security sciences division of the Argonne National Laboratory. His research was on quantum computing models and how a breakthrough in quantum computing might support the U.S. in a mission of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to nation-states.
What about your Knox education prepared you for your internship and made you a great candidate?
Rather than focus on specific tools, languages, or niche talents, Knox has done a great job of preparing me for the theoretical and big-picture foundation of computer science. While this can be intimidating, and many students (myself included when I was a prospective student in high school) think that learning a direct tangible skill is the best route, I see now why Knox takes the approach it does. By knowing the theoretical, I have a foundation from which to build on rather than trying to learn new technologies or skills from scratch. I have been taught how to learn and grow rather than a niche skill set that may not be relevant in the future.
In terms of my application for this internship, one of the draws was Argonne National Laboratory’s commitment to these same principles. The job description emphasized passion and motivation rather than narrowly used technologies. Instead of limiting my application platform to a resume, Argonne asked for essays ranging from my interests and how Argonne could help me achieve them to what I hoped to achieve in the future.
Knox has helped me see the big picture, hone in on my passions, grow my clarity for what I hope to achieve in the future, and has encouraged rather than limited my ability to represent myself and effectively communicate in writing. All of this was extremely important to convincing Argonne National Laboratory that I would be a fit for their culture.
Are there classes or professors that have especially helped you in your time at Knox?
I cannot stress enough the importance of beginning with the theoretical, the principles on which every other concept is based on. However, with Argonne National Laboratory, it was less about my specific experiences and more about who I was and what my passions were. Professor Spacco has been instrumental in encouraging my development and individual exploration of my interests, including loaning me a textbook of his over a winter break so that I could continue learning. Professor Bunde, my computer science advisor, has also been a constant supportive resource.
Both professors took the time and effort to get to know me and my interests, and after just one class with them were forwarding me emails concerning my specific interests. Both were also kind enough to write recommendation letters, a critical (and time-consuming) aspect of the internship cycle.
This also seems like as good a place as any to shout out Scott Crawford, the executive director of the Center for Career Success at Knox. He is incredibly involved with students and has done a huge amount to promote the services that Knox offers in terms of outreach and resources. He and Professor Bunde also advised me through a difficult situation in which I decided to turn down my first-ever internship offer in the hopes of something better (which, in hindsight, was a great decision).
At Knox, Charles has been involved in Union Board as a scheduler for the comedy and entertainment committee, as a varsity track athlete in track and field, as a computer science tutor for Red Room SMC, and as a Resident Assistant.