In a time filled with the unknown, I, like others college students, searched for opportunities that will enlighten my workplace knowledge and give me a greater sense of purpose. I have altered the direction of my career path numerous times over three years and will continue to keep the future open to all facets. Currently, I am focusing on earning my undergraduate degree with a major in civil engineering and I aspire to work on innovative smart building infrastructure. This summer, after an engineering internship was cancelled, I sought out a novel experience that would broaden my expertise. I spoke with David Bain, VP of Standards at TIA, and agreed to take on the challenge to write a paper about an awe inspiring industry: drones. My goal for the six-week stay was to compose a paper that investigated the intersection of telecommunications and drones, mainly focusing on their mutual dependence. Both of these trades are not ones that I have learned about in school or have much experience in, but I have always been determined to learn more.
In the first few weeks, I felt like I was constantly playing catch-up. My first introduction was through a 400-page roadmap on standards gaps within the UAV industry, and let me tell you, I did not even know the definition of a lot of the words at the time. My list of unknown technical terms grew extensive and visually represented all the reading I had ahead of me. Each day was filled by reading and note taking research and white papers. These papers ranged from the electronics 101 to innovative technology concepts like pilotless air taxis. I was being introduced to a whole new world that was coincidentally being introduced elsewhere around the globe. When I began conducting interviews with TIA members and staff, I found myself learning more about the industry through casual conversation and became skillful at investigative interviews. I found that the interviews provided me with the most contextual information that propelled my writing.
The past six-weeks has taught me a lesson that can only be learned outside of the classroom: college is about more than the classes you take. It is the skills acquired through dedication to those classes and the work produced. It grows the self-starters and the confidence to succeed outside of a comfort zone. I wrote a paper on a novel subject to me, but knew that I had the tools to research and constructively analyze information. A college major should not be a barrier to what you can do because the college experience creates founding principles for you to succeed.
Thank you to all the people of TIA that aided me through this educational experience.
By: Olivia Morabito, ICT Standards Intern, TIA