My name is Kevin Fischer. I am a member of the class of 2022, with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Statistics. This summer, I completed a remote internship with Nawi, an environmental monitoring company based in Chile. Their mission is to provide clear, easily accessible data to the public regarding air quality, water quality, and noise pollution in order to involve citizens more directly in local and regional environmental issues.
My role was to communicate with third party vendors of Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring devices to help the company determine who they should work with in the future. I put together various spreadsheets detailing the characteristics and price levels of products from different vendors, and I also helped to add an English version of the company webpage. One thing that surprised me going into this internship was that I did not work with data nearly as often as I thought I might. In some ways, I was disappointed by that, but in other ways it presented an opportunity to strengthen various soft skills that I had struggled with in the past, especially professional written communication. I had email threads with many providers of environmental monitoring devices from around the world, and even talked to officials of the federal government of Canada regarding monitoring projects they had undertaken. Throughout my eight weeks with Nawi, I saw my ability to communicate in a virtual professional setting improve dramatically. I also learned a great deal about many things, most notably the IoT, a concept I was unfamiliar with at the start of the internship. Through IoT technology, data can be measured, processed, and posted onto online platforms continuously and in real time, which I think is amazing.
Overall, my internship experience was one that I certainly am happy with. It was a lot different from what I thought I would be doing over the summer. Before the coronavirus pandemic began to spread, I was scheduled to take part in a field research based study abroad program based in Panama, and when that was canceled, I scrambled to find something safe and remote to do this summer. It may have been difficult to settle in for the first few weeks, but I can say looking back that Nawi taught me a lot and will prepare me well for future opportunities.