Cheng-Yin Eng ’17

Cheng-Yin Eng '17

Academic interests: Environmental studies (dual degree), music minor

Concentration: Conservation

Internship overview:
I am a research intern at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. It’s my first research experience.

I am working on a census that aims to establish the background tree mortality rate and to understand the associated causes and consequences of tree deaths. On a typical day, I go to the forest plots and collect data for a few hours, then go back to the lab and write scripts to analyze the data.

Why are internships important?
Interning is like test-driving. It allows students to choose or eliminate future career options without risking longtime commitment. Also, students have opportunities to network and make tight connections with professionals.

How might this internship help you after it ends?
I am considering venturing into the biostatistics field, where I can combine my interests in data analysis and the environment. The internship has given me direction as to what classes I should take, since it has helped me identify more clearly the type of career I would enjoy.

What has this internship meant to you?
The internship opportunity conveys trust. My job involves collecting and analyzing data that have real impacts on the direction of scientific research. Therefore, I am learning to assume real responsibilities, and to adopt an even more careful and committed attitude.