Semirah Dolan: Apprenticeship program at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center

Semirah's internship exposed her to the daily work life of an engineer and helped her clarify her goals.

Year: Class of 2019
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Boston, MA
Award: Leduc Leader Award
Internship: Naval Warfare Center
Service: Greenlight for Girls, Million Man March

Internship at Naval Warfare Center

The Science and Engineering Apprenticeship Program (SEAP) at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) provided me with the opportunity to participate in research at a Department of Navy (DoN) laboratory during the summer.

The goals of SEAP are to encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers, further their education via mentoring by laboratory personnel and participation in research, and make them aware of DoN research and technology efforts, which can lead to employment.

The internship gave me hands-on experience that helped me find my passion in engineering. I was exposed to the daily work life of an engineer, and I was able to decide where in this industry I can optimize my skills and talent.

When employers see that I’ve been employed as a naval engineer, they’re very impressed by the work I’ve been exposed to and the skills I’ve gained. Getting diverse experience gives you a well-rounded perspective on the work that you do.

Future plans: supporting STEM students

I decided to major in mechanical engineering because it’s one of the broadest types of engineering: I could do anything from manufacturing to marketing. I’m currently on co-op at Johnson & Johnson as a manufacturing engineer, and I’d love to see more UMass Dartmouth students do the same.

There are so many opportunities available for STEM students, but the biggest roadblock is support, which I plan on providing with the non-profit I’m starting called Just Apply, Inc.

From Greenlight for Girls to the Million Man March

I’ve volunteered with the computer science department and the computer security club for their annual Greenlight for Girls event. I also went on a service trip to the Million Man March with the Frederick Douglass Unity House.

I’ve taught self-defense and sailing, worked with New Balance as a brand ambassador for their breast cancer awareness campaign, and programmed video games using the Oculus Rift at a hackathon.

These experiences really shaped my college experience and provided me with productive tools for my career.

More information

College of Engineering: Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering, Features - Internships, Features - Leadership & Service