Ben's Photo Blog

Photos from my various adventures

Decisions

Posted by Ben on March 11, 2010

Another zoo shot.  This one is a tiny little hummingbird from the Sonora desert exhibit.  I had the camera shooting continuously for a good thirty seconds hoping to get it in flight, but no luck there.  I love the bright pink colors around its neck in this shot.

I spoke briefly last time about the unknowns in my life at the moment.  Well…I’ve got another one to toss onto that pile for a few days: my plans for the summer.  I was ecstatic last week to find out that I had been accepted to mathematics summer internship with the National Security Agency.  I mean, I thought the interviews had gone well, but I didn’t think my chances of getting into a program that only takes twelve students each summer were very good.  At that point I thought I was set for the summer.  I wasn’t really excited about the Lockheed internship I interviewed for (which is good since I didn’t end up getting that one).  However, I found out earlier tonight that I was accepted to the mathematics REU at Oregon State University for this summer.  I knew going into this that that was a highly competitive and selective program.  In fact, I had pretty much been waiting for the last few weeks for an email from them politely informing me that I had not been selected.

So, now I find myself forced to choose between two very attractive programs.  On the one hand is the NSA.  First, I would be making considerably more money through this program.  I would also be much closer to home (Baltimore, Maryland vs Corvallis, Oregon).  It would also give me a glimpse into what a mathematics major might actually do in the real world.  On the other hand, the REU program would give me a better glimpse into what math grad school would be like.  I would basically be working on a research project for the majority of the summer there.  From what I’ve heard, it is also a very nice thing to be able to include on a grad school application.  This program is also a month shorter than the NSA one, giving me a little bit of a summer break to enjoy.  It is also located in what seems like a beautiful part of the country (though I’ve never actually been there before).  A downside to this is that I’d be on the other side of the country from most of my friends.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot to think about for this one…

-Ben

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One Response to “Decisions”

  1. Paulo said

    Nice picture of the hummer. And it seems that you have a dilemma.

    Sometimes, there is no clear cut choice as what to do. However, I am a Ph.D. psychologist and can tell you what I went through.

    I was asked to work for one of my professors over a summer or I could go to summer school. I decided that the work world would be better for me. It would show me the ropes, get me with people, and give me an idea of what a private practice would be like. I went back to school to complete my second year of graduate work that fall.

    I then went to work full time as a psychologist for a school district in Southern California, and went back to get a Ph.D. I went to school and worked on my degree at the same time.

    Write me if you have questions.

    Paulo

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