Innovation Student Intern
UNM Rainforest Innovations has trained over one hundred University of New Mexico students on university technology transfer and commercialization through its student internship program. Students develop excellent professional skills and a better understanding of the intersection of business, science, and law. These students add immense value to UNM Rainforest Innovations, and their unique backgrounds and interests diversifies our innovation ecosystem.
Our featured intern this month is Ariana Nava, who joined UNM Rainforest Innovations in August 2021 as an Innovation Intern. “I enjoy that UNMRI consistently provides me new challenges and learning opportunities. Through curating mailing campaigns, drafting non-confidential summaries, conducting novelty searches, assisting start-up companies, researching various markets, and creating marketing summaries, I have been able to expand my capabilities. From cancer research to satellites, I am always getting the opportunity to learn about something new.”
Ariana was born in Albuquerque and raised in Rio Rancho and enjoys spending time outdoors, making jewelry, scrapbooking, and watching baseball. Family also plays a key role in her life. “My parents have always encouraged me to reach for the stars and challenge myself academically. Through my education in the Rio Rancho Public School system, I was able to attend UNM and CNM for dual-credit courses. Even though I didn’t quite know what I wanted to study back then, I was given the opportunity to try classes in different fields and further my love of learning. My two siblings have given me a combined three nephews and one niece, who I hope to encourage one day in their own learning.”
Ariana recently graduated from UNM with bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Psychology and will continue to work at UNMRI through the summer. She has plans to pursue a master’s degree in economics next year and will be moving to Billings, Montana where she wants to pursue a career in the finance industry.
“The most valuable thing I’ve learned as a student intern at UNMRI may be that learning never has to stop. Each day I work, I get to see these brand-new technologies coming out of the university. As I studied economics and psychology in my undergraduate degree, I didn’t get to encounter engineering or life sciences materials in the classroom. However, I was able to apply the skills I learned in the classroom to my work in order to learn about and interact with new material. My time with UNMRI has helped shaped me into an individual who wants to keep moving forward and learning in all that I do. Internship programs such as this one, help grow work ethic and skills through experiences which can be applied in future workspaces.”