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Thomas Wagner '13

 

Thomas2Double Major- Math & Physics

Major Selection
I wasn't sure what I wanted to study when I graduated from high school but I noticed that I really enjoyed learning about physics. I decided to be a Math major following my first semester after it was suggested to me by Professor Schwartz.

Finding the Internship
I was unsure about where and when to start looking for an internship so I asked a teacher that I have had since my freshman year, who also happened to be more former advisor. My teacher had contacts at Yale and he found out about a project that was being worked on. At the time the project heads weren't looking for any interns. But after speaking with my professor they decided to take on one intern, me.

The Interview
There was no official interview process. I exchanged e-mails with the project heads and gave them my resume. The next step was a visit to the lab so that we could meet in person. I brought a list of the classes I had taken along with my grades. I was given a tour of the lab so that I would be familiar with how and what they worked with.

Temporary Relocation
I knew I would have to find a place to live so I went on Craig's List to start my search. Because of the location of the lab it was easy to find apartments nearby. I rented an apartment in New Haven, CT which was about 6 blocks away from the lab (a 10-15 minute walk).

The Importance of Extracurricular Activities
I am currently in the Math Club. Being a member has given me the opportunity to see the different areas of math that are not normally taught in the classroom. I am also on the soccer team. I have played soccer all of my life and I think that playing has allowed me to meet more people, both on the soccer team and from other areas throughout the athletic department. Playing soccer is really important to me. It is something I enjoy and it gives me the chance to rest my mind from my academic obligations.

Advice 
Form a good relationship with a teacher that you like. They usually have connections in their field that can and are willing to help you. I would also recommend getting an internship- they are helpful! An internship is like a little preview of what your career in that field might be like.

Future Plans
I am still in the exploration phase, but interning at Yale gave me insight into the difference between a master's degree and PhD program. Right now I am thinking about working in an education/research setting or working in a private lab, possibly in a technology development corporation.