The lab has a rich history in the nuclear field and I was able to see much of it through tours and documents. I also appreciated having many other interns in the office with whom to socialize.
I didn't like the inefficiencies I saw in the organization. As a federally contracted nonprofit, there was little incentive to be efficient. In some cases, safety training is emphasized beyond reason. I was also surprised at the low emphasis on book knowledge. None of my direct mentors had the same degree as my major, but assigned me technical tasks. I did find assistance from experts in other departments.
Advice to Potential Interns
Be clear on your resume what tasks you would like to do. If you want to work in one field or with one technology, write it down so that you get assigned to the right department.
Advice to Management
Motivated interns need a positive first impression. Efficiency should be emphasized from the start, otherwise complacency sets in.