Hello CSS Family,
My name is Andrew Day, and I am currently a senior majoring in Information Science. This past summer, I had the pleasure of participating in a Supervised Internship that focused on Data Analytics. This opportunity is offered through the UMD iSchool and is listed as INST389. This class was extremely rewarding and allowed me to gain invaluable internship experience while also receiving 3 credits. The course was separated into two parts: professional development and a data analysis project where students select from a list of iSchool partners with whom to work. I had the opportunity to be the team lead of a traffic count analysis project for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
This internship occurred during the peak of the pandemic and was, fortunately, a virtual experience. The course lasted about twelve weeks from June 1st to August 20th. The course is taught and supervised by one of the best professors in the iSchool, Dr. Kathy Weaver. For the traffic count analysis project, I worked with a graduate student who had the role of the Project Manager, in addition to two other information science students and the client representative from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. MWCOG is a regional transportation planning organization that organizes and publishes annual average daily traffic by vehicle classifications for National Capital Region. My team was tasked to evaluate a dataset that was collected from traffic stations during rush hour – 6 to 9 AM. We utilized Python and Tableau to explore the database, found traffic patterns/trends, and made connections from outside databases. These tasks were intended to provide real insight that the MWCOG could use to improve their traffic operations.
Furthermore, there were individual assignments in addition to the team project that provided students with an opportunity to build our professional profile and zero in on our career goals. This was significantly beneficial as I was entering my final year at UMD and would soon be applying to full-time jobs. I was able to solidify my LinkedIn and résumé, develop career goals, and connect with a mentor in my desired industry who gave me informative career advice on the next steps leading up to and after graduation.
In total, this experience was completely worthwhile, as I was able to strengthen my technical, professional, and leadership skills all in one summer. Upon completing the course and project, I felt better prepared to enter my senior year. I would recommend any CSS member who is majoring in Information Science or is interested in data analytics to check out this opportunity.