Bow Seat Welcomes MIT Intern Aileen Han
June 10, 2022

This week we welcome Aileen Han to Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs! Aileen is a rising junior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) studying computer science and joining Bow Seat as a part of their PKG Social Impact Internship program.

Keep reading to get to know her as we kick off this summer-long collaboration.

What’s one thing you do to help the environment?

One thing that stuck with me was when we learned about the effects of single-use plastics on the environment, especially in the ocean, in elementary school. I felt that it was horrible that innocent animals were being harmed by plastic bags and bottles. Thus, in my day-to-day life, I use a reusable water bottle, and when I go shopping, I always bring a reusable bag to avoid these plastics as much as possible.

How do you express creativity during your personal time and in your work?

I am a computer science major, which is generally not a subject that people associate with creativity, but I disagree. When faced with a problem, there are many approaches that may all work. Thus, creativity is required to craft the most efficient yet simple solution.

I also work as a math TA during the school year, which requires creativity to discover the best way to explain concepts and problems to students.

In my personal time, I enjoy designing clothes.

Do you have a favorite memory of the ocean?

I remember going on vacation to Hawaii with my family, where we went to a beach to swim and see the fish.  Before I went there, I had never seen so many fish of all species and colors, and it was a lot of fun watching them swim around and interact with the plants! I think this experience truly made me realize how amazingly diverse the sea life is in our oceans, and how important it is that we try to preserve this variety.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the possibilities of everything that we have yet to discover, but also by all that we have already learned and invented.

Where are you living this summer?

I am living in my hometown in the Bay Area in California this summer!

Tell us about the opportunity MIT has for students to work with nonprofits over the summer.

MIT’s Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center (PKG) offers multiple opportunities for public service, such as a program during IAP (the month of January, sort of like MIT’s winter quarter, where you can take classes, do internships, and more) focused on health, as well as a spring break experience focused on a particular social issue. One of their opportunities is social impact internships during the summer, which connects MIT students with work that will make a difference in the world socially.

Does the option to work remotely make this internship uniquely beneficial?

I think that working remotely will allow me to not only develop the skills required for the technical and social components of the internship, but also to improve my communication skills, since I believe that communication is vital to any job, and is especially important when working remotely.

What are your goals for this internship?

My goals for this internship are to improve my professional communication skills, specifically involving technical content, through practice, and learn how to integrate the ideas of many people. I would also like to learn more about the problem of ocean pollution and use my skills to build a website that will help others become more aware of this important issue.

How do you see this internship helping you with your career goals?

I believe that this internship will allow me to develop my design and web development skills through practice, and learn about how to research and incorporate new features that I am unfamiliar with. I think these skills will be exceptionally useful in my future career in software. In addition, the communication and soft skills that I learn through this internship will help me in any career.

What surprises or excites you most about Bow Seat so far?

I think something that both surprised and excited me was how collaborative and open to ideas everyone on the Bow Seat team is. I believe such an environment is conducive to great results, and I am very excited to work with the Bow Seat team in this environment.

Thank you so much, Aileen! We are so excited to work with you this summer.

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Bow Seat Welcomes MIT Intern Aileen Han

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