Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hank Leslie: Final Blog Post

    I came into SWIFT excited to chase severe weather while having an opportunity to travel across the United States. The internship completely exceeded the expectations I had before beginning it. I realized after the first week of SWIFT that I had learned more than I do in a typical 16 week college course in the classroom. I believe we learned so much because we had no other choice but to learn. When making weather forecasts to target storm locations, we had to interpret various weather models and radars to make theses predictions. And it became necessary to ask questions to understand the tools we were using.

     I cannot say enough about how amazing the SWIFT team was working together. We had a great group of midshipmen who were all able to laugh and have fun together, but were all motivated to learn and do the tasks necessary to run a successful team. Everyone took initiative to help the team out in any way they could. I also want to directly recognize the amazing effort 1/C Chimiak and 1/C Whitt did in leading our internship. They put in many extra hours before and during the internship to assure everything was running the way it should be while having to be accountable for performance of the team.
     Before beginning this trip I was interested in METOC as a service selection, but now I know I want to do it. Learning and observing the atmosphere this trip was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had and the atmosphere is still something I want to keep learning about after being immersed in it for two weeks. The internship in general was also a great learning opportunity professionally and in regards to opportunity. I had a chance to exercise peer leadership and following in the same group. There were many logistical and technical problems we had to troubleshoot that will carry over to our careers in the military. Also, it was amazing to go on a funded internship and see a vast amount of the United States in just two weeks. I have learned so much about parts of the country I have never experienced before and am thankful for it.

    SWIFT was more than I ever hoped for and am glad I had the opportunity to experience possibly the two most exciting weeks of my life. Finally, we had a ton of help along the way from various military members, academy grads, and friends of SWIFT members. These people were documented in our blog throughout the past two weeks and I want to personally thank them for all their help!

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