Gaining Experience Through Internships

As summer approaches, many continuing Seaver students will dive into internships to gain work experience, explore career paths and apply classroom lessons in a formal work setting. Here’s a sampling of some of the internship experiences Seaver students have secured.

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Nicolas Breceda, Senior Mechanical Engineering Major and Applied Mathematics Minor

Nicolas Breceda ’17
Internship: Northrop Grumman

Nicolas Breceda will head into commencement with a job offer from Northrop Grumman in Redondo Beach, California. Over summer, Breceda interned at their location in Melbourne, Florida, working as a cost engineer on classified projects for 10 weeks. He was one of seven LMU engineering students who interned with the industry giant. “I don’t know any other school where I’d be able to get the kind of experience I had these past four years,” he said. Heavily involved in extra-curricular, co-curricular and community service activities, Breceda plans to keep up a similar pace after graduation by pursuing a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from USC while working.

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Eileen Choe, Senior Computer Science Major and Applied Mathematics Minor

Eileen Choe ’17
Internship: Blue Origin

Eileen Choe’s passion for computer science came to life when she was a sophomore taking her first computer science course. “I am particularly interested in working on data management technologies, especially in collaboration with people in different fields, like aerospace or biology,”she said. This past summer, she worked on some of the software systems used to build and manufacture Blue Origin’s reusable rockets. With prior internships at Raytheon and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory under her belt, Choe will return to Blue Origin for a second internship after graduation. Then she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science in database systems with her eye on teaching and research.

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Andrea Montes De Oca, Junior Mechanical Engineering Major

Andrea Montes De Oca ’18
Internship: Summer Undergraduate Fellowship in Sensor Technologies

At the conclusion of the highly competitive Summer Undergraduate Fellowship in Sensor Technologies Research Experience for Undergraduates, Andrea Montes De Oca presented the work she did on the fluid dynamics of blood. One of about 100 students to present at the program, her research tied for second place and won Honorable Mention. This experience represented a lot of firsts for Montes De Oca: the first time conducting her own research, first time on the East Coast and the first time she seriously considered earning a doctorate. She and her brothers are the first in their family to attend college, and when she adds “doctor” to her name that’ll be one more first.

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Brandon Klein, Senior Biology Major and Biochemistry Minor

Brandon Klein ’17
Internship: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health

With plans to start medical school this fall, Brandon Klein admits that his passion for research is fueled by medicine’s inability to cure certain diseases. Building on research he conducted at LMU into dry age-related macular degeneration, Klein studied blood vessels in the retinas of more than 150 patients through his internship at the National Eye Institute’s Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology. The results provide novel insight into the natural history of macular degeneration. While completing his studies, he continues to work long-distance with the lab’s scientists to publish the work. “I would be elated if this could bring us closer to one day treating dry macular degeneration patients,” he said.

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Leonora Meroth, Sophomore Civil Engineering Major

Leonora Meroth ’19
Internship: SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies)

When Leonora Meroth learned that SpaceX accepted her as an intern, she was both ecstatic and shocked. She was a freshman and a civil engineering major. “I am so glad that I put myself out there,” she said. “I can’t imagine doing anything better than playing with rockets all summer.” Once at SpaceX, she learned about different engineering disciplines, project management and teamwork. She had so much fun, in fact, that she considered changing majors. She’s staying with civil engineering, and next summer she will return to SpaceX for a second internship to continue adding to her broad-based engineering knowledge.