BALTIMORE, MD (August 5, 2015) — All hands on deck! As part of CyberPoint's internship enrichment program, our interns, their supervisors, and CyberPoint co-founder Vicki Gumtow all got to sail aboard the famous Schooner Woodwind in Annapolis for an afternoon of team building and nautical fun. The team tacked, jibed, and steered their way across the Chesapeake Bay, taking a much-deserved break from all their hard work at the office. We decided to check in with the interns on how the trip was, and how their summers have been going so far.
"I thought the sailing event was really cool," said Labs intern and UMBC PhD student John Seymour. "I learned a lot about sailing, but I also learned a lot about people in the group. The exercise definitely broke down some barriers between the interns."
Fellow intern Benjamin Lelonek agreed. "I definitely enjoyed the sailing experience," he said. "It helped us all work together and do something a little bit different."
"Different" is right — while our interns are doing everything from editing a how-to video on building a computer to working on passive network monitoring, a typical day at the office doesn't include learning how to independently sail a 74 foot, 32 ton schooner (yet!). Aside from a sailing crash course where the interns learned how to read nautical charts, manually maneuver the four different sails, and correctly identify different ship positions, they also gained important experience working together as a team. And, as they found out, even an activity as unconventional as sailing can teach valuable lessons that still apply to the office.
"Sailing taught us skills such as communication that are very important in an office-type environment," said UMD senior Michael Roberts, who is currently working on high performance computing with the Labs team. "And they are skills that are very important in developing a career."
In addition to preaching communication and teamwork, the sailing activity also helped the interns gain independence from their supervisors, who took a back seat for the exercise and watched as the interns took charge. Not a finger was lifted as Michael manned the steering wheel, Marissa and Greg kept a lookout at the front (or, should we say, the "bow"), John and Tori navigated, and the rest of the gang handled their respective duties.
Back on land, such trust in our interns' capabilities continues. "They expect you to know what you're doing here, and that's one thing I like a lot," said former Cristo Rey intern and current Design & Communications intern Greg Jones. "It teaches you how to be mature and responsible. Sailing definitely emphasized those same values."
With all of our interns spread out between two floors and working on so many different things, the sailing trip helped bring everyone together for not only an educational experience but also some recreation and socializing.
"I think the extra intern events are a really cool added perk," intern Josh Preuss said. "And that's what we should see them as. We're not all on the same team for our projects, and we're all on different projects, so it's just a fun time that's an added benefit of having the internship on top of everything else."
Land or water, our interns have proven that they've got what it takes to succeed for whatever comes their way. It's been our pleasure to watch them grow over the past few months, but don't worry — summer isn't over yet, and there's still much more to come!
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