#NDSUintern Scholarship Recipient Blog

Intern: Sarah LaVallie

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Company: Sandia National Laboratories

Location of Internship: Remote/Working From Home

Internship Title: Intern- Electric Power Systems Research R&D Undergraduate Summer


  • Why did you choose the company that you work for?
    • I’ve interned at Sandia before and I had a really great experience there! Working at Sandia exposes you to so many highly smart and skilled people in a broad range of research areas
  • What were some of the requirements for your internship?
    • During my internship so far, I’ve been working on exploring and analyzing solar photovoltaic (PV) production data. The goal is to draw conclusions about the reliability of PV during extreme weather events
  • What is your favorite part about your internship experience?
    • My favorite part would be having the opportunity to work on a project involving renewable energy, something that I’ve always been really interested in. It’s also been a great chance to learn new skills that I haven’t had exposure to in classes
  • How do you plan to utilize the scholarship funds? (What are the ways in which the scholarship will most benefit you?
    • The scholarship funds help immensely with covering the costs of my tuition and education
  • What is the most challenging part of your internship? How have you overcome these obstacles? 
    • It’s definitely been a challenge getting used to working remotely due to COVID-19. The fact that I can’t meet my mentors or interact with other interns in the same way has been a little weird! It’s important to remain flexible and adapt to the situation as best you can
  • How did you find your internship?
    • Through your own self-guided research
  • Why was it beneficial for you to register your internship for credit through the Internship Program?
    • It was extremely beneficial for me to to be able to earn credit for completing an internship because the credits go towards a technical elective, which brings me one more course closer to graduating!
  • What advice would you give a student who is in the process of applying to an internship?
    • Career expos are an invaluable resource for students in search of an internship. I got my first internship from attending the career fair at the AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) National Conference. Definitely if you have an opportunity to attend a career expo/fair (whether it be at NDSU or as part of an organization like AISES), take it!


By Rachel Grace
Rachel Grace