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of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)

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Nuclear Society (ANS)

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Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

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and Electronics
Engineers (IEEE)

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TESTIMONIALS

Justin Sinaguinan
2010 WISE Alumni

 

WISE made a big impact in my academics and my career path. I am a car nut, so interning for SAE International taught me about the automotive industry from a policy perspective. I learned how to shape my own policy initiative correctly by learning from those most experienced with it. I learned how to conduct proper policy research, from accounting the key stakeholders to interviewing federal agencies.

I learned that Washington, D.C. is simpler than what one usually perceives from the outside. I saw big buildings, security guards, and intimidating suits. But that's just perception. Anyone can conduct their own research and speak to anyone they would like to get answers. For example, I scheduled an appointment to speak with someone working at the Department of Energy, AT THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY! It was as simple as calling their office and requesting an interview. Nothing else. The only thing limiting a person from getting somewhere in Washington, D.C. is one's reluctance to get up and make that phone call or to get to that office. So I got out of the comfort zone and achieved success.

I also learned a lot about our government, how it works and how much power a typical United States citizen has. Senators and Congressman are there for us, and we can make meetings with them whenever we feel compelled to. The suits and the rank intimidated me at first, but we're their constituents. They're there to represent us. This inspired me to study the theory behind our government and how it works more in-depth in political theory classes afterwards. If anything, I became more patriotic upon learning about the reasoning behind it all, what our founders did, and what every public servant does to keep this government running. I commend them all. I will always have a stronger connection and love for my country because of WISE.

The fact that we got to live in the heart of Washington, D.C. to live, breath, and learn policy was a reward in itself. Sometimes learning on your own by overcoming obstacles of your own led to the best learning experiences, but we also had help along the way to ensure we didn't fall too far from the path we tried to walk. I attribute a lot to my sponsor, Tim Mellon, who mentored me through some areas that I had no idea about. I'm glad he sponsored me, because the experiences I got from this internship are immeasurable. Bruce Mahone also played a key role in encouraging me and sharing his experiences to help me along my path. The friends I made, and the good times I had were the best bonus. We shared experiences exploring D.C. that we'll always remember. When we needed a break from the research, the other WISE interns were a good group to lean on.

I researched advancing electric vehicle technology, and the effect its range and efficiency claims had on consumers. I was able to take my research with me to my final year of college, and turn it into my senior technical thesis. Of course this was more technical, but I did a bulk of the research already from interviews at federal agencies and research at the Library of Congress. My content was strong. I am proud of the work I did with my policy research and my senior technical thesis.

These projects were a big part in making my background unique, which set me apart from other candidates when searching for jobs. The value of a candidate is the summation of unique experiences they carry with them. The WISE Internship program is one of those experiences. After all, where else do you get the chance to present your policy research at the U.S. Capitol to an audience of policy professionals. Or meet a Senator or two. The WISE experience made me stronger, both personally and professionally. When I was interviewed for my dream job, that all became clear. The dots finally connected. Each unique experience I had all culminated into a story that my interviewers wanted to hear about. Each question my interviewer asked only led to more interest, and further questioning about experiences only I could answer because of what I went through. I landed the job!

I currently work at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. as an Engineer in Electronic Infotainment Technology. I love my job and I couldn't be happier! Honda gives me the opportunity to put my ideas on the road, and the possibilities keep me fueled for the years ahead. I've had so many new experiences working at an automaker. Though much of it is secret, that just goes to show how interesting the work is when our overall goal is to develop the next generation of automobiles. And personally, I also couldn't be happier! I live in California! I reconnected with a lot of old friends and made new ones. LA has tons to offer, and nothing beats the weather. I had two big goals in life: To work on automotive development and see my ideas on the road, and to live in California. Though a lot of luck was involved, WISE definitely played a role in helping me achieve that.
 

 

WISE Webmaster: Chris Brantley

 

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