Summer Internships 2015

Sun-soaked postcards from Bryn Mawr students

August 10, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Janet Monroe ’17

picofmeName: Janet Monroe

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: Biomedical Engineering department of Boston University.

What’s happening! We’d love to hear about how your internship is going.

This summer, I’ve been working in the Han Lab in the Biomedical Engineering department of Boston University. I’m working closely with a graduate student, investigating the integration of transplanted neural stem cells into the mouse somatosensory cortex. In order to evaluate the effects of the transplant, I learned to use calcium imaging to look at the brain of live mice, and I also worked with a novel technique known as expansion microscopy (ExM). In this technique, slices of the mouse brain are bathed in a polymer that expands when immersed in water, expanding the tissue to around four times its size in each dimension. This allows for the inspection of the neural network and synaptic connections in the brain in a higher resolution than is typically possible with conventional microscopes.

Over the course of the summer, I’ve gained experience in a variety of areas. Not only have I learned about the process of using certain antibodies to stain proteins with a fluorescent dye (allowing these proteins to be examined and mapped under a microscope), but I’ve also had the unique experience of helping to design and create an imaging window to look at the mouse brain in vivo, using the tools available at Boston University’s Engineering Project Innovation Center (EPIC). Throughout this time, I’ve also had a valuable glimpse into what life is like as a graduate student or postdoc doing research in this program, an experience that will guide my choices as I consider my future options.microscope

How I heard about my internship:

Over fall break in 2014, I was staying in Boston, and during that time I visited the Han Lab to learn about the techniques that they were working with. While Professor Han was showing me around, she offered me the chance to work in the lab over the summer, and here we are!

Why I applied for my internship:

Though I am a psychology major, I’ve always been drawn in particular to neuroscience, as a sort of intersection between biology and psychology. The members of the Han Lab work on a variety of different projects, but essentially they all share the goal of learning more about the brain and its processes. Further, the lab has developed or is implementing a number of interesting new techniques for looking at and controlling the brain, and I hoped to learn more about these techniques through my own work and the work of my colleagues.

Additionally, I am currently evaluating the merits of a career in research, and I hoped to experience the day-to-day life of an individual involved in research through this internship. While the experience I had in my lab is not necessarily the experience I would have had in another lab, I do think that, by seeing a number of people engaged in various types of research, I have sampled a broad variety of experiences. This internship has allowed me to imagine a future as a researcher in a way that I could not prior to working in the Han Lab.

August 10, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Renée Eddy Harvey ’17

UntitledName: Renée Eddy Harvey

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: I am interning with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council as an ESL tutor. I am teaching English to adults from different countries.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

What is the future perfect progressive? What does least mean? What’s the difference between make and do? These questions are the foundation of my summer internship of teaching English as a Second Language to adult immigrants. While I have been speaking English for 20 years and completed a 12 hour ESL training, this position still seemed daunting. I have never formally taught before and had students relying on me. Luckily, I was interning with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council and they have provided a great support system. I was given books, a volunteer coordinator, information about each of my students, and a tutor-mentor. However, neither my training nor my training could fully prepare me for the actual act of teaching.

I had four students which I was working with, two from Iraq, one from Colombia, and another from Argentina. They all have different backgrounds, different lives, and different levels of English. The first thing I wanted to do, besides help my students learn English, was get to know my students. They all live in Pittsburgh with their families and face language barriers and other struggles daily. However, each students has different needs so it is fortunate that we have one-on-one teaching sessions, which allows me to tailor each lesson for each student. The thing that surprised me the most was my students’ willingness to learn. While I was training and preparing for this internship, I kept having flashbacks of myself in 8th grade Spanish class, where I would literally want to be anywhere else than that room learning about grammar. However, these lessons are completely different, mainly due to my students and their enthusiasm for learning. I try to maintain a casual style of teaching while building relationships with my students and making sure they learn something. So while I may not be able to immediately answer all the questions my students throw at me, I am able to work together with my students to create some understanding, and that’s what’s important.

August 10, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Prianka Ball ’17

image2Name: Prianka Ball

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: I will be working in the Welcoming Center of New Pennsylvanians. This summer I hope to work with small businesses run by immigrants in Philadelphia.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

I interned at the welcoming Center of New Pennsylvanians this summer. To be more specific, I was working with the Small Business Development Department. I learned a lot about small businesses and the important role immigrants play for the economic development of Philadelphia. Throughout my summer I have helped make a toolkit on how to establish a street vending business, assisted street vendors get the required licenses, and helped put up KIVA ZIP profiles for other entrepreneurs. However, my biggest project was helping my supervisor make the marketing plan for the Philadelphia Immigrant Innovation Hub in Mt. Airy, which is set to start sometime in the end of this year. Through my work I got to interact with a lot of small business entrepreneurs and tried to find out ways that would help them succeed.

How I heard about my internship:

I was interested in working with small business entrepreneurs in Philadelphia area. I learned about the Welcoming Center of New Pennsylvanians by simply searching on Google. As I am an international student who knows the struggles of coming to a new country, I thought it would be a very good fit for me.

Why I applied for my internship:

I applied for my internship because I wanted to learn more about small businesses. I am planning of going into business school after Bryn Mawr so I wanted to see if I actually like working with businesses. My interest to work with small businesses is also connected with my current efforts of establishing a platform for volunteers and non-profits that would make it easier to share volunteering opportunities in Bangladesh. My summer internship has taught me a lot about non-profits and their outreach strategies which can help me to implement my project.

August 7, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Fatema Sheikh ’17

10944884_10152807079658212_8990960219610216490_nName: Fatema Sheikh

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: I was an intern at MKThink, a design and architecture firm in San Francisco. I was placed under the Innovation Studio within the firm and had the opportunity to pursue a project to later present to my colleagues.

Whats happening? Wed love to hear how your internship is going.

I spent the summer in San Francisco interning for MKThink. MKThink is an architecture firm that in addition to traditional design, integrates data, strategy, and innovation is its core product. During the first couple of weeks, I got to know everyone at the company, do a space utilization study for a client, write a think piece for the company’s website, and decide on a topic.

The last couple of weeks, I narrowed and focused my topic of choice and decided to write a report on sustainable design typologies around the world, with a heavy focus on the bay area. I had the opportunity to interview some amazing professionals about what makes good sustainable design tick and how it can be scaled to have more impact. At the end, I presented my findings to the office and experienced genuine enthusiasm and interest in my work.

Ultimately, this internship helped me realize that good design has the capacity to significantly affect our lives for the better.

How I heard about this internship

In the winter of 2014, I was looking up possible opportunities for the upcoming summer. I knew I was interested in design and data but didn’t want to pigeonhole myself by doing something that was exclusively design or data. I found out, through some newsletter, that a few Haverford students had interned with this really cool firm in San Francisco under the Whitehead internship. After emailing several people many times back and forth about eligibility, I was finally able to secure a place through LILAC funding.

August 7, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Yuyan Ji ’16

11194765_1649260865308359_1682465939_oName: Yuyan Ji

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: I will work as a marketing intern at Boston Language Institute in Boston. My job includes but is not limited to making marketing strategy, planning marketing activities, and social media content writing.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

I have been working at The Boston Language Institute for four weeks as a social media marketing intern. I got this opportunity because I did an externship in the Institute last spring and, since then, kept in touch with Siri Karm Singh Khalsa, the president of the Institute and a Haverford alumnus. The Institute offers foreign language classes, English as second language classes, English teacher training programs, translation services, as well as cross-cultural seminars for companies and governments doing business internationally.

So far, my job is comprised of conducting market research, making a social marketing plan and managing the social media accounts of the Institute. The ultimate goal of the internship is to create a social media marketing strategy that will continue to serve as the guideline for the Institute’s social media marketing activities after my stay.

Besides other activities, I analyze the enrollment data over the years, which involves some basic excel skills. I also design online surveys that ask students for their expectation and alumni for feedback. I like this research part a lot probably because I like to understand people’s needs and wants and to maintain a good relationship with them over time. In addition, as I manage the social media accounts, I take pictures, write posts, repost, and study the “insights” that those websites provide in order to find some regularities behind the seemingly unpreventable “likes” and “unlikes.”

More about work and the working environment: Although I’m working on marketing, I occupy a desk in the office of English as Second Language Department, which means I’m always surrounded by a group of English teachers who are more than used to getting along with foreigners or immigrants still acquiring the English language. No one seems to be bothered by my English and are all very willing to answer my questions. Big bonus! And even more, almost everyone in the school is a language person! We’re just fond of learning languages (which should not be surprising in a language school, haha)! I could easily switch to Spanish with almost everyone in the ESL office, and not even to mention the foreign language teachers that are more than willing to teach you a word or two during lunch break! In this aspect, I truly enjoy this international, open-minded and culturally diverse environment.

Some thoughts on the 9 to 5 schedule: It’s a little hard to adjust to a fixed schedule. especially after vacation and just physically tiring to sit by the desk for most time of the day. In the morning I often have some plan for after work, but many times I just feel so tired after a day at work that the only thing I want walking out of the building is to lay in my bed. Maybe it’s not for me, or maybe I’m just too used to a slouchy life. The good side is that since I always have to think about tomorrow, I’m forced to keep a sustainable schedule on weekdays: no stay up, no late night movie, always leave time for a shower in the morning, always intend to prepare lunch for the next day, etc.

So, while sincerely missing the dining services at Bryn Mawr, I do feel like a working adult sometimes. And I can’t help imagining how my mom, when I was younger, managed to cook a big dinner at night for the family after a whole day of work and why, subsequently, we often had left-overs… It’s hard to be a working woman, not even to mention being one while taking care of (the food of) the family. Also, I now understand why my mom can’t just say no to her boss when asked to stay late for a meeting — she just can’t. Also, on why she often works on weekends when to me it’s time for fun and life: it’s because of the desire to achieve, to grow, to create meaning of life by excellent work.

Life: I sublet a room in a student apartment right near the Museum of Fine Art. I mostly walk, and occasionally take the subway to work, both of which take about 20 minutes. Yet recently I found a great bike renting system in Boston, and have registered to be a member for a month. So since this week I’ve been walking and then biking to work, shortening the time of commute to 15 minutes one way. I biked to Charles River today at sunset.

At the official middle point of the internship, I look forward to reflecting on the first part of it, optimizing learning opportunities of the second part and of course, taking the chance to explore Boston!

August 6, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Mia Rybeck ’17

Name: Mia Rybeck

Class Year: 2017

Internship Placement: I’m working with Fatoumata Sylla, Isabella Nugent, and Alice Lesnick as part of the Bi-Co Dalun Summer Action Research Fellowship.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going.

This was the first year of this fellowship, so we’ve been doing a lot of experimenting. This summer we’ve collaborated with three students at the University of Northern Ghana on various small community-based projects, using technology to communicate across the Atlantic. We’ve also spent a lot of time on research and reflection among the U.S. fellows who are meeting in person every day to try and contribute to the grounding of this program in our home institutions. Each week we have assigned each other readings that have felt relevant to the work we’re doing as we see our objectives and methods shift and change. Developing the fellowship and simultaneously engaging in it has forced me to think about the international educational objectives of our small institutions and the distinct location we engage in research from. Partaking in this experimental summer action research called “Lagim Tehi Tuma—Dreamwork We Do Together” has helped me think more and more about the power differentials implicit in different types of international collaboration and reframed aspects of the way I view “International Development” work. Our research has also allowed me to think about different types of formal and informal education in new ways — even in terms of seeing this fellowship as some intersection of different types of education as I continue to learn and “unlearn” through our emergent research. I’ve learned so much from my co-fellows Isabella and Fatou (see their blog posts for more info/perspectives on the program!) as well as our co-fellows in Ghana and all of the various types of mentors who have been pulled in to discuss and advise us and Alice Lesnick, the professor we are working with here at Bryn Mawr. I’m grateful to everyone who has given so much time to my learning processes and I hope I am able to carry forward the knowledge and new perspective I do into any future endeavors.

Untitled

How I heard about my internship:

I heard about this opportunity through an email from Ann Brown who works with the Bi-Co Education Department.

Why I applied for my internship:

I was excited to be doing something on campus working with other students and getting a sense of some type of academic research with the Education Department.

August 6, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Angel Suero ’16

Name: Angel Suero

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: This summer I am working at Women’s Way, as the policy and advocacy intern, assisting the policy and advocacy work that Women’s Way does.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I have had the amazing opportunity to be the advocacy and policy intern at Women’s Way, a nonprofit that serves as something like a matriarch for other nonprofits in the city of Philadelphia. They fund and collaborate with many nonprofits, and are heavily involved with advocacy and policy initiatives that align with their four pillars which are: economic justice, safety, women and girl’s leadership, and access to healthcare and reproductive rights.

Interning at Women’s Way gave me the opportunity to engage in a way that most people cannot with politics in Pennsylvania. Although as a high school student I involved myself in many political efforts at the state level, I had forgotten how exciting and exhausting it can be to work in the policy world.

Working at Women’s Way also allowed me to gain a deeper appreciation for how complex politics really can be, given the number and different motivations of all the actors involved in informing policy: nonprofits, alliances, the private sector, different populations, and constituents all attempt to shape the way in which elected officials act. In addition, there is so much legislation that is constantly changing and being voted on that at times it can be really difficult to take track of it all. Being a politically-informed and active citizen is therefore a challenging task for those who are not able to, because of different constraints, take the time to process all that information. This is why I am grateful for organizations like Women’s Way whose policy efforts are informed by what they hear from collaborate with members of, and those who service, disenfranchised populations.

August 5, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Micala Hotra-Schubert ’18

10454893_10203816396242256_4229711393760208027_oName: Micala Hotra-Schubert

Class Year: 2018

Pronouns: She/her

Internship Placement: ACLAMO is an organization in Norristown, PA, that provides programs and resources to Latino and low-income families in the surrounding area. This summer I hope to teach in their summer education program for young adolescents and help to develop and establish a small library.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

I just got home after finishing the ten weeks of Summer of Service, a Civic Engagement program that allows ten students to intern at service-minded organizations while living together in Batten House on campus. Through Summer of Service I had the opportunity to work at ACLAMO, a nonprofit organization in Norristown (only 8 miles away from Bryn Mawr, but with about an hour commute through SEPTA) that works with low-income and new immigrant families in the area. During the first five weeks at my site I worked in the office developing a curriculum for the class I would be teaching and just getting a general feel for what it’s like to be in a nonprofit culture.

It’s been the second half of the summer that really gave me the chance to do some hands-on work — I was a teacher to 2nd through 9th graders at ACLAMO’s summer program. I taught a class called Life Skills, which is a lot like a middle school health class, but with my own emphasis on self-care and personal identity thrown in. We talked about nutrition, daily living, interpersonal communication, and, for the older students, small units on resume building and sex-ed. It was a lot of work to develop a curriculum from scratch and then present the material to my students — the summer program had about 120 in total — but the relationships I was able to build with the kids and the information I hope I passed on made everything, including the SEPTA commute, worth it. It was such a fantastic learning experience that forced me to think on my feet and be open and honest with both my students and my site supervisor. And it’s shaped how I view my future in the nonprofit world, now that I have a better sense of what it’s like and how nonprofits are actually run.

Some Highlights: The best part of my summer experience was, by far, getting to build relationships with my students. I feel so honored that they trusted me enough to not only be engaged in the lesson material that I was teaching, but also to let me into their personal lives. Especially with my older students, we had discussions on harder topics like gender identity and sexual health, some of which they had never talked about before. But they responded with maturity and interest, and, at least from my viewpoint, learned a lot.

Apart from my internship, I had such a great time going into Philly and exploring the city in my free time. Before this summer I’d never gotten a chance to spend much time there, but now I feel like I can take my friends and have fun during the semester.

August 5, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: Nastia Biryuchinskaya ’16

meeeee1Name: Nastia Biryuchinskaya

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: I will be working at an organization Entrepreneur Works in the Lending department. I will be helping out the Lending department fulfill the company’s mission to “provide supportive services to entrepreneurs and small business owners to assist them in starting or incorporating an existing business better.”

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

This summer I helped Entrepreneur Works fulfill its mission to help underserved entrepreneurs successfully finance businesses in the Great Philadelphia area. The responsibilities that I had at my internship included guiding clients through company’s policies and lending services, assisting them at filling out loan applications, and helping my supervisor with loan underwriting process.

At Entrepreneur Works, the decision of the loan committee to give out a loan is based on people’s personal characteristics, their ideas, and hard work instead of the amount of money they already have or their ability to repay (even though, of course, this criteria is taken into account). Taking those things into consideration really makes a difference and shows that the Entrepreneur Works team really cares about the people and works hard to improve people’s lives in the Greater Philadelphia region.

I would often witness how the organization was working hard to fundraise to be able to lend out to more people on better terms. What I really liked at this internship was to see people who are so passionate about an idea for a business, their creativity and desire to help their community, as well as the excitement of the Entrepreneur Works team to do their best to help those clients achieve their goals. This summer internship at Entrepreneur Works was an extension of what I learned over the course of the three years at Bryn Mawr and an opportunity to explore more the field of microfinance.

August 4, 2015
by Diana Campeggio
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A Postcard From: BamBoo Ding ’16

fotoName: BamBoo Ding

Class Year: 2016

Internship Placement: I will be working in Rome, Italy, in an Italian luxury magazine and trying to extend our existing connection with some big Italian brands like Gucci, Prada, and Armani, as well as the connections with hotel chains to China. Thus, we can create the Chinese version.

What’s happening? We’d love to hear how your internship is going!

When it comes to my internship, there is always TOO MUCH to say. Because every single day is quite different from another. I do not know what will I do today, who I am going to meet, and even the location itself. I do not have an office or a routine schedule. My supervisor usually notifies me where and when to meet two or three days in advance. However, living and traveling in Rome, the authentic eternal city, is always quite pleasant despite too many tourists and the 100 fahrenheit weather.goN_tpPcr-3_95GAdiwLzIyhKjzUVjnhUG5HcUbzXGg

Some highlights: I participated in the “Alta Roma,” the haute couture fashion show in Rome, as a photographer and a representative for my magazine but most of the time, as a guest sitting and chatting with celebrities. I went to several press conferences, where the executive board and government officials announced their expectations and appreciation for the fashion shows; sometimes designers explained their inspiration for the new collections during these press conferences as well. I went to numerous fashion runway shows (there was one day when I went to six) and usually the backstage afterwards. Thus, I got the chance to talk to the designers and learn more about their personalities. Most significantly, I was able to see the fashion sketches and touch the pieces, and deliberate over how the designers chose materials for their designs. I was also given the opportunity to shoot the runways. Though Haverford photography classes are fine-arts orientated, my internship enabled me to practice in the commercial industry and get hand-on experience. I also joined many business conferences with my supervisor at various luxury hotels in Rome. Some are quite contemporary and vibrant; others are more traditional and elegant. Yesterday, I joined a photo-shooting at Villa Appia Antica, a private, enormous, ancient, and gorgeous country house, which is also a famous spot for events like wedding, fashion, and film shooting. Woody Allen also once rent the place and shot a scene for To Rome With Love here.