Seniors Unlock New Life Skills


While most students spent their summer break locked in their homes, four Diamond Bar High School seniors found interesting internships to liven up their summer experience.

Senior James Wu had the opportunity to assist former California Assemblywoman Young Kim with her campaign for Congress, to represent California’s 39th District. Starting on June 8, Wu was assigned to the campaign’s strategy team for his internship, which was held over Zoom.

“My responsibilities include phone banking, hosting meetings and keeping other interns accountable, brainstorming engagement activities for the campaign, ideas for potential speakers for the campaign, etc,” Wu said via text.

Wu came across the opportunity to apply for the internship after his APUSH teacher, Ty Watkins, gave him the contact information for the regional field directors managing the campaign.

“I’ve been able to experience the inner workings of a political campaign,” Wu said. “I’ve made relationships with the field directors managing us, as well as Young Kim herself, which is awesome to think about.”

In need of an internship for Brahma Tech credits, senior Jasper Lin had the chance to apply for one during quarantine through his friend’s parents, who own an automotive store. He was offered the internship and worked at Brite Alert during June.

Lin said that he was given tasks to help manage both the advertising and social media departments of the company. Using his experience in photography and design, he helped them create manuals and a catalog for their products with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. In addition, he filmed an introduction video that displayed the company’s products.

“As an intern, even though you can see that I had to create a lot of social media and advertisements, they gave me a lot of time to breathe,” Lin said via text. “So interning there wasn’t too stressful.”

After his internship ended, Brite Alert offered Lin a job, which he accepted. Lin admitted that he was assigned more work since he was hired, but he is responsible for the same internship tasks while also getting paid. Lin now works only Thursdays after school.

“The best part of the internship was just how open everyone was,” Lin said. “We had weekly meetings and I basically got to share all my projects with them and ask for any suggestions or comments.”

Meanwhile, senior Amy Chen had the opportunity to intern for NASA doing a research paper.

Chen was offered the summer internship at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory with her mentor, Jonathan Jiang. Jiang is the group supervisor and principal scientist at JPL. Chen shared that he worked on a few projects with him such as a methodology on ways to measure the distance between the Earth and the sun. After applying, Chen was accepted for the 10-week internship.

Chen said that she was assigned a difficult task at the internship along with many other responsibilities.

“My main job was to research for evidence that proves the possibility of extraterrestrial life forms,” Chen said via text. “Some of my responsibilities also included preparing weekly informational meetings, creating weekly progress reports for the professors and presenting my new discoveries each week.”

With many assignments to complete, she admitted that the internship was quite stressful. She had to finish a 10-page report and also had to give out her final presentation at Caltech. Chen said that finding new information for her research was the main problem she encountered throughout her entire experience.

“Researching was an extremely stressful process for me and I have thrown myself on a beanbag and cursed myself for applying,” Chen said. “Luckily, I had really understanding professors as my mentors and they would always give me a couple ‘drops of idea.’”

Despite the difficulties she was facing, Chen stated that she learned much about herself from this experience.

“Looking back, my biggest gain from this experience would be pushing myself way beyond what I thought I could manage,” Chen said.

Lastly, senior Harris Daud received an internship revolving around real estate through personal connections with his family.

For his internship at the company, TA Partners, Daud said his task was mostly to learn from the other architects, real estate agents, engineers and contractors that were present. 

“I did a variety of different things covering all parts of real estate development,” Daud said via text. “I did things as basic as filing payment orders, to reading through countless pages of architectural plans and finding any inconsistencies.”

Daud’s internship lasted during break until the beginning of the school year.

“Being the only intern made it easier for me to form relationships [with co-workers] and I also learned quite a bit about real estate development,” Daud said. “I certainly have a lot more to learn, but looking back at what I knew before this internship, I definitely learned a lot.”