How to Maximize Short-Term Engagements

Alan Eli Willner

Being an intern, visitor or postdoc can be an extremely valuable experience—if you take the right approach.

Two people in office[C. Falls / Getty Images]

Some of my most memorable and enriching experiences have been short-term engagements, both as a visitor and host. My positions as a summer intern in the early 1980s at the RCA David Sarnoff Research Center and as a postdoc in the late 1980s at AT&T Bell Labs were truly exhilarating. Additionally, I have hosted visiting researchers for whom I have nothing but admiration and joy at what they accomplished with my group. For example, Optica Fellow Antonella Bogoni was a powerhouse visitor in 2008 who cheerfully made other people around her better.

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