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Spring 2012  No.21
My Life as a Princeton Research Intern

In 2011, Cleve Ming Jin (BEng in Electronic Engineering – Honors Research Option) became one of the first students to participate in the School's reciprocal summer research internship program with Princeton University

"During my two-month stay at Princeton, I was assigned to be a research assistant at the Imaging and Analysis Center, which I found both enriching and challenging. The Center provides high-end, state-of-the-art instrumentation to assist materials research and education and is one of the most advanced of its kind in the country. I worked on a project to characterize the electrical properties of nickel nanowires. To do so, I was trained to use complex, hi-tech equipment, including hands-on operation.

"My Princeton supervisors were friendly and supportive. During the day, I worked 9am-5pm on experiments in the lab. At night I read relevant materials and decided what to complete the following day. I reported my progress and plans in a weekly written report. In this way, I kept independent control of my project yet also received guidance on systematic research.

"As my final year project at HKUST is related to my work at Princeton, I was able to get started very quickly when I came back.

"In addition to my research, I made many friends. My hosts were two Princeton students, who inspired me to try activities such as kayaking, which I had never done before. I valued the cross-cultural friendships which opened up my mind to see the world from new perspectives.

"My Princeton experience was a great complement to my previous exchange at University of Pennsylvania, where I mostly focused on coursework. Such a research internship is especially useful if you are thinking about postgraduate studies. I developed strong ties with my supervisors and it undoubtedly helped my communication and teamwork skills, project management abilities, and overall confidence."