A Postcard From: My Nguyen ’20

Name: My Nguyen
Class Year: 2020
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Ha Tinh, Vietnam

Internship Placement: Canaday Library
Job Title: Virtual and Augmented Reality Development Intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working with the Microsoft HoloLens, a pair of mixed-reality glasses that allow users to interact with both physical and 3D objects at the same time. I specifically focus on the educational possibilities of this new technology and how it can assist the learning and teaching experience. First, I learned about the HoloLens, how it works and how to best navigate it, as well as its potential as an educational tool. Then I started to develop apps for it with Unity and Microsoft Visual Studio, with the documentations from online sources and previous winter interns. Alongside with my amazing teammate Nadine Adnane, we have developed two apps, HoloStrings and BioBuddy. As their names suggest, HoloStrings allows users to experience different musical instruments, while BioBuddy helps students study anatomy, both in an immersive augmented reality environment.

Our current projects are HoloMuseum, a mixed-reality museum app, and serialization for HoloChemistry, an app to learn molecules by Pearson Education. These are challenging, yet rewarding, because I have learned a lot along the way! Apart from these HoloLens exclusive projects, I am also involved in many more initiatives from Bryn Mawr Educational Technology. I’ve helped our fellow Digital Curriculum interns with Moodle Testing, and attended workshops on Digital Competencies and Project Management, to name but a few.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I first heard about Virtual/Augmented Reality about a year ago, and had since been fascinated with its powerful potential as the technology of the future. Having tried the HoloLens during the Winter STEM & Tech Intensive program, I was sure I wanted to learn more about this device and if possible, develop for it. That’s why when I knew of this internship opportunity, I had to apply!

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

A LOT! It’s like there’s something new every day. With the Educational Technology team, I’ve had the chance to learn everything from Digital Competencies to Domains of One Own, from Project Management to Web Accessibility. I have always focused more on the technical, algorithmic side of things, but these have proved to me that there is a lot more to explore in the tech world. I have also built up on my professional and communications skills, learning about LinkedIn, attending professional events such as DSRA, Philly Microsoft HoloHack, etc.

With our teammates and supervisors, I have also experienced the joy of teamwork and friendship. Coming from different backgrounds, we have learned to collaborate with each other and shared our experiences in different fields.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Enlightening — Everything from the technical knowledge to communications and teamwork experiences has been enlightening to me! And how can I forget the moments everyone’s eyes lighted up when we introduced the HoloLens to them? It felt magical.

Empowering — I have been equipped with a lot more after this internship – technical skills, working experiences, and a lot more confidence. As a woman – a minority in tech — this is extremely important.

Fun — Yes, I am actually having fun at work. Every day is a day I meet with friends and build something new.

Professionalism — I have never experienced a real working environment before, so this is the first professional job I’ve had. From setting up working hours to attending conferences – I feel like a real employee.

Teamwork — I work with my teammate Nadine, as well as three Digital Curriculum Interns and supervisors in the same room, so they have become an important part of my job!

Knowledge — I have gained knowledge in many different fields and aspects from this internship, and most importantly, a desire to learn more and improve myself.