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Meet a Participant: Alexis Doreste

Alexis Doreste

In 2020, Alexis Doreste spent his summer contributing to statistical research projects as part of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) Research Ambassadors Program.

Demystifying industry preconceptions

Alexis Doreste joined the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) team as a Computer Science undergraduate from the University of Michigan for a summer internship opportunity through ORISE in 2020. Through his summer experience, he quickly learned that the NCSES team is unlike anything he expected. “NCSES is a diverse office in and of itself, full of statisticians, programmers, mathematicians, survey managers, financial analysts, etc. It is a division where you will conduct meaningful collaborations and will be mentored by industry professionals,” Doreste said.

Doreste’s meaningful activities that summer spanned across a multitude of projects. With his mentor, Program Director John Finamore, Doreste developed a way to streamline the NCSES statistical testing process. Doreste also collaborated alongside other NCSES professionals for the visualization components on the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), Early Career Doctorate Survey (ECDS), and for a NCSES Science Resource Analyst’s Skilled Technical Workforce (STW) presentation.

NCSES cultivated a team mentality that allowed for him professional and personal growth during his internship experience. “It always felt as though I was being mentored and guided, rather than ordered, which allowed me to contribute and deliver my best,” Doreste remarked.

While there are hundreds of research internships across the country, NCSES opportunities are in a league of their own, as Doreste put it, “My experience at NCSES demystified the industry preconceptions I held--that a professional career is excessively formal, standardized, and deadline-driven. The reality is that interning at NCSES showed me that industry collaboration is about effective communication and coordination first and operational structure second.”

The NCSES Research Ambassadors Program is funded by NSF and administered through the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). ORISE is managed for DOE by ORAU.

View the Current Research Opportunities page to apply today!