First intern in International Services won't be the last
|International Services intern Kenichi Yoshida began work at Fermilab in October.
Students have long filled science-based internships at Fermilab, but the Workforce Development and Resources Section just hired its first intern last month.
Intern Kenichi Yoshida began working in WDRS' International Services Office in October as part of a six-month program called the Long-term Educational Administrator Program, or LEAP. Yoshida said he became interested in the program while working in Japan at KEK, where he helps organize conferences.
"Many visiting researchers came there, and sometimes I had to communicate in English," Yoshida said. "I realized I needed better English communication skills."
One of KEK's senior staff told Yoshida about LEAP. He joined the program and spent one year working at the Japanese Ministry of Education, then took classes and worked at Montana State University for six months; both institutions help administer the program. LEAP organizers try to put interns into similar fields, which is how Yoshida ended up at Fermilab.
Now Yoshida, who is still a KEK employee, is helping pair host families with Fermilab visitors and employees who don't have Thanksgiving plans as part of Fermilab's first TurkeyDate. He will also help survey how other laboratories welcome users, studying how they collect pre-arrival information and complete post-arrival documentation, and help International Services with their work load, such as organizing two upcoming conferences.
International Services Supervisor Amanda Petersen said Yoshida's projects will be useful to his colleagues here, as well as to KEK once he returns to Japan.
"We're also very interested in the work experience Yoshida brings from KEK," Petersen said.
Yoshida may be International Services' first intern, but he probably won't be the last. Petersen said she plans to continue hiring interns, starting with college undergraduate students this summer. Expanding Fermilab internships to more students is a way for Fermilab to give back to the public, Petersen said, by providing on-the-job training and employment.
"Fermilab is a useful learning environment regardless of what your end job would be," Petersen said. "The skills interns can learn here would be desirable in any company with an international workforce."
— Chris Knight