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Alyssa Montijo in Copenhagen
Alyssa Montijo, a student at the University of Arizona, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, in summer 2018. (Photo courtesy Alyssa Montijo)

Summers Worth Sharing: What Four UA Students Did This Summer

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Summers Worth Sharing: What Four UA Students Did This Summer

Sept. 14, 2018
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When summer comes to Tucson, students scatter to the four corners of the world for once-in-a-lifetime experiences as interns and in study-abroad programs.

In the beginning, junior systems engineering major Elizabeth Barnitt did not think she could ever intern at such a large corporation as Microsoft. However, after submitting a resume last year at a career fair hosted by Society of Women Engineers, she found herself leaving the summer heat of her Phoenix hometown for a 12-week internship in Seattle. 

Barnitt said she learned a lot, and that the experience allowed her to grow more independent and confident in her abilities. Before this, Barnitt said she found this challenging. However, she said that the company put great focus on having a “growth mindset,” which means employees are constantly learning and improving and not being fixed in old ways.

“Going into the summer, I knew no one and had to get comfortable with doing a lot of things on my own,” Barnitt said. “Since I’d had no prior internship experience before this, I faced a lot of imposter syndrome and spent the summer understanding and attempting to overcome that.”

For anyone that thinks that they could never intern at a company like Microsoft: I thought the same thing … big tech companies need to hire people from all different backgrounds to diversify themselves and improve their products. You never know if you don’t apply!”