David Chan (2012), interned at J. Ganes Consulting:
"As a commodities analyst intern, I aid the Founder and President of J. Ganes Consulting, Judith Ganes-Chase, in updating, forecasting, and presenting soft commodity positions. The softs we research and consult on are citrus, cocoa, coffee, cotton, and sugar. The heaviest focus on meteorology comes into play when writing and updating Judy's market research report, Understanding El Niño & La Niña’s Effects on Tropical Soft Commodities, which we partnered up with a private risk analysis firm, MDA- Earthsat, to write. In addition to this report, I also create slides that are presented to Fortune-500 company executives, the like the Vice President of Ingredient Purchases of Coca-Cola."
Daniel Rothenberg (2011), interned at the Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes:
"The Center for Multiscale Modeling of Atmospheric Processes (CMMAP) is an NSF Science and Technology Center with a focus on developing super-high resolution models for climate prediction - specifically, models that can natively resolve clouds. I applied my math and programming backround to implement and run a baroclinic instability test case on a brand-new dynamical core - the heart of a weather or climate model. I also developed visualization software for the model (it ran on a complicated, icosahedral grid, which broke most of the commonly-used visualization tools) in conjunction with researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab." To support my research, my mentor sent me to several conferences and workshops over the summer to meet the top modelers in the world, and had me present my work at the 2011 AMS Annual Meeting.
Undergraduate Atmospheric Science majors at Cornell spend their summers interning, volunteering, and conducting research with numerous organizations across the country in both the public and private sectors.
Many students take advantage of of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). These competitive, NSF-sponsored programs offer the opportunity for students to work with mentors at other Universities, and a chance to spend a summer working on a project which can typically be presented the following winter at the annual AMS National Meeting as a poster or talk. In addition, some students find research internships at national labs, and a host of non-REU programs exist at other institutions. Cornell meteorology students have also been extremely competitive at earning Hollings Scholarships, a prestigious award which helps fund undergraduate educations in the Earth sciences and yields a summer-long research internship at a top national lab or agency.
In addition to research internships, many students pursue experiences in the private sector, sometimes not even directly related to meteorology! A popular summer internship choice involves working with a local broadcast meteorologist in a student's hometown. Some students have also opted to work with private forecasting shops who liaison with the financial or energy industries.
National Weather Service
Students volunteer and intern informally with their local National Weather Service weather forecast office (specifically, Albany and Binghamton), and the NWS also offers a paid internship as part of the Student Career Employment Program (SCEP). These sorts of experiences are great ways to gain an advantage when seeking competitive positions in operational meteorology or forecasting in general.
Some students break the mold entirely and seek internships outside or tangentially-related to meteorology. In the past, students with business minors have spent summers working in the financial sector, while others have worked at other public agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency, pursuing both environmental science and public policy.
Finding Your Own Internship
The EAS faculty keep students informed via e-mail on many opportunities, and upperclassmen in the department share their internship experiences with younger students and can help them find exciting opportunities. In addition, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences strongly supports undergraduate internship searches, and the National Science Foundation maintains a searchable list of REU programs. Cornell students are encouraged to network and independently contact people or organizations for whome they'd like to work - most groups are thrilled to hire Cornell students, even if just for a summer internship!