Skip to main content

(This blog is from the summer of 2016.)

The realization that so many people spend so many years of their lives sitting at desks from 9:00am to 5:00pm has been startling, to say the least. Though the work done at that desk might be very interesting, the mere fact that it all happens in that one spot tucked away in a maze of offices has caused me to feel a bit disillusioned with what it means to have a job and to work. I’ve had my desk job for a brief three weeks, so my own experience is still just beginning.  I find my projects fascinating and relevant to my interests, and I greatly admire the people I work with. I am working for the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program (SRHRL) at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). I contribute research and writing to the program’s ongoing projects, including a global survey of science, engineering, and healthcare practitioners about their social responsibilities as members of the scientific community, and the impact of civic engagement curricula in undergraduate STEM education. I am currently helping to develop the sample frame for the survey. We are also conducting cognitive interviews, during which we ask people questions as they take the survey to ensure that the questions make sense. My meaningful projects and kind, interesting coworkers have eased the shock of deskwork. Ultimately I would be happy to be at basically any desk if it is in Washington, D.C. The city is full of passionate people and there is so much to do. From exploring the Smithsonian museums with old friends to kayaking on the Potomac with new friends, every day in DC excites me. I am looking forward to the next five weeks as a time to learn about my own work ethic, to narrow down the many careers paths I’m interested in, and to run into at least one of the Obamas (@Malia hang out with me?)