A Postcard From: Chloe Sheen ’19

Name: Chloe Sheen
Class Year: 2019
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: La Crescenta, California

Internship Placement: Lemma, Inc.
Job Title: Software Developer
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

Lemma ​is creating an online learning platform for math, and this summer’s focus has been to finalize the SAT/ACT test prep product. I have been mainly creating an open source library of mathematical figures and charts (using a Python library called Matplotlib). This new library of shapes would be essential in developing questions in not only the test prep modules but also the existing courses ranging from Algebra to Linear Algebra on Lemma.

Why did you apply for this internship?

The fact that this internship would be a drastic change from the jobs I had worked at before was a big decision factor for me. I wanted to experience how it is to work for a startup company, and it has definitely been a shift in environment and work flow. I also used the language Python extensively all summer and utilized Git much more frequently than I had been used to in classes during the semester.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

For the few days into the internship, I wished to figure out whether I like the startup work environment or not. Having worked at Bryn Mawr before (with the Educational Technology team) as a summer intern, I had expected a similar workload and environment as the job descriptions were similar in many ways. However, the system of work was drastically different; coming from a pretty structured work flow to a more spontaneous startup environment was a definite change and a positive experience that I did not expect to appreciate so much in the end.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Rewarding experience, demanding tasks, supportive team

A Postcard From: Carolyn Cannizzaro ’19

Name: Carolyn Cannizzaro
Class Year: 2019
Major: English
Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y.

Internship Placement: NYC Criminal Court
Job Title: Drug Treatment Court Intern
Location: New York, N.Y.

What’s happening at your internship?

I work in Manhattan Drug Treatment Court, which is a judicial divergent program created in 1998 to assist those in the criminal justice system who suffer from substance abuse addiction. The program aims to get addicts out of the “revolving door” of crime caused by their dependence on narcotics by offering them an alternative to serving time. With the court’s support, each defendant is given the opportunity to get clean, acquire housing, pursue higher education, and find full-time employment—ultimately with the hope that they can reestablish stability in their lives and move past their addiction. If the defendant successfully completes their mandate, their case is dismissed. The program currently has more clients than ever as it works to help combat the opioid epidemic. I assist the attorneys and case managers assigned to this court with a lot of organizational work to cope with the heavily increased case volume.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I previously interned with an assistant district attorney in Staten Island, who recommended that I take a look at other opportunities in the New York City criminal justice system. I came across this program, which not only assigned interns to work in a court for the summer, but also gave us the opportunity to visit every branch of the NYC criminal court system and meet the various judges, court attorneys, and so on who work there. It sounded like a great opportunity that would provide me with plenty of legal exposure.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

I’ve learned a lot about legal writing and research, which is something I find valuable as a pre-law student. Reading through decisions and case law, as well as taking case notes in court, has given me a good amount of exposure to the reality of the legal profession and has reinforced the fact that this is a career path that I definitely want to pursue. I’ve also become more accustomed to multitasking in a high-stress environment, which will certainly prove helpful during my remaining time at Bryn Mawr.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

Nothing brightens up my day more than seeing that we have a defendant who successfully completed the treatment program coming in to court to receive their last certificate. Overcoming addiction is an immensely difficult task, so to see how far some of these defendants have come and to hear them talk about how much their lives have improved since they began treatment is very moving. Their smiles as they shake hands with the judge remind me of how important criminal justice reform and the work we do in support of rehabilitation is, and make my summer internship experience feel all the  more fulfilling.

A Postcard From: Huiyu Li

Name: Huiyu (Eileen) Li
Class Year: 2019
Major: Psychology; Mathematics
Hometown: Shanghai, China

Internship Placement: Bryn Mawr College Aging and Cognition Lab
Job Title: Research Assistant
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

As a research assistant, my job consists of three parts: data collection, data analysis, and discussion of relevant literature with my professor. Working time is usually 9 to 5 but rather flexible, depending on how much work there is to be done every day. This summer. the main focus of the lab is to study how emotional stimuli, as compared to neutral stimuli, are processed differently for younger and older adults. Thus, for the data collection part, my tasks include recruiting participants, scheduling experiment sessions, and assisting participants to complete tasks on paper and computers. For the electrophysiological data we have collected, we process and analyze the data using EEGLab and ERPLab, both plugins under the Matlab environment.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have volunteered in the Aging and Cognition Lab since my freshman year because I found its research topics intriguing to me. Hence I applied for this summer science research opportunity to deepen my knowledge in this field and to gain some more hands-on experience.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this research opportunity is that it is a perfect combination of interactions with people and computers so that one can never get bored. At work, we are able to not only get to meet different people but also to examine what their cognitive processing of the stimuli we provided are like (participation in the study is completely anonymous though), and I think this is really exciting.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

Thanks to the behavioral data collection task, I have the opportunity to practice my communication skills through interacting with the participants. Now I am more confident with talking to and getting to know people of different ages and different backgrounds, and I think this is an essential skill not only in the lab setting but also in the real world. In addition, the analysis of the event-related potentials (ERP) data via Matlab has introduced me to some basic scripting skills and offered me some insights into how computer science and computational mathematics can be integrated into research in psychology. As I am learning more about it, I am able to gain a better understanding of how psychology is not an isolated subject but is related to other fields, and now I am able to appreciate the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to education more.

A Postcard From: Alisha Mudbhary ’19

Name: Alisha Mudbhary
Class Year: 2019
Major: Economics
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand

Internship Placement: Advanced Plasma Solutions
Job Title: Marketing Analyst
Location: Malvern, Pa.

What’s happening at your internship?

Since it is a marketing internship, I have been working with a variety of different techniques to increase reach and website traffic. A large part of my work has been implementing SEO (search engine optimization) techniques to rank higher on search engines. As part of this, I have been honing my HTML and CSS skills by changing features on the company’s website to improve its SEO.

I have also been given a different market research task every week where I must compile a report for clients interested in buying and implementing new technology. The reports aim to dissect the market and explain why the technology is worth investing in, its cost-efficiency and impact on the industry. I must then present my report to the CEO and answer any questions he may have. This is the most challenging and exciting part of my internship as it challenges me and puts my research and critical thinking skills — I am always having to make sure I answer every doubt that our CEO/clients may have.

In addition to this, I have a marketing proposal due in a few days where I make a case on why we should advertise with Facebook. If approved, I will oversee creating, launching and tracking several Facebook ads. This is something I am excited about and hoping it gets approved!

Why did you apply for this internship?

Out of the different marketing internships that I had applied for, APS specifically stood out to me because it is a technology development company. As an Economics major, I have learned about how technology is an important enabler of innovation and development and has a significant impact on the economy; I was interested in seeing how they contribute to the local/greater economy as well as how they operate in general. I also have a keen interest in exploring different markets and marketing allows me to gain deep insight into the market I am working with. I had previously done business development for a tourism-related startup, and learned volumes about the U.S. tourism industry including all its little niches (hotel industry, entertainment industry etc.), so I thought I would be able to do the same through APS, especially since I learned while doing my research that plasma is applicable in a variety of industries!

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

I love that since APS is a small company, my ideas are given weight and I am able to see the direct impact of the work I am doing. I suggested we try Facebook advertising when I found out it was more cost-efficient than the Google Advertising we were doing, my coworkers listened and helped me put together a marketing proposal to present to the VP of Marketing and the CFO. I also came across someone that may potentially be interested in investing in one of our technologies and suggested to my supervisor that someone contact him; they trusted my judgement and simply told me to set up a call with him. The call went well and he is now an investor! Seeing the impact of my work helps me look forward to work every morning and keeps me productive.

I am also given a lot of independence in completing my tasks as I encouraged to try out different SEO techniques without running it by my supervisor. This has helped guide my actions and decisions and form better judgement as I take responsibility for my actions.

Living in a new city? What has that experience been like for you?

Philadelphia isn’t completely new to me since Bryn Mawr is only 20 minutes away, but this is my first time having my own place and living alone in a city that is somewhat unfamiliar to me. It has been a very insightful experience and has taught me a lot about time-management, financial management and independence in general. I am glad I am getting the opportunity to find my own apartment, pay my own rent and feed myself every day before graduating. I am finding that there are small lessons to learn in everything I do, from making sure to bring my phone charger home from work to learning that you must remember to use the things that are already in your fridge before they expire. I am thankful that I’m getting a glimpse into what it is like to live independently before graduating.

I am also happy I am getting to experience this city that is so close to me yet seems so unfamiliar. I picked up how to navigate Philadelphia very quickly (had no idea how extensive and convenient the public transportation system is here!) and I am confident that this experience will help me adjust quickly in my future endeavors in cities completely new to me.

A Postcard From: Alex Berndt ’19

Name: Alex Berndt
Class Year: 2019
Major: Sociology
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Internship Placement: The Franklin Institute
Job Title: Classroom Support Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

I’m convinced I have the best internship any college student could have for the summer. I work with the Mini Molecules (Pre-K to second grade) They’re at the best age and are all so curious and have such passion toward the science that they learn.

As a classroom support intern at the Franklin Institute, I get to spend a lot of one on one time with campers at their discovery camp. I work with campers who have learning differences such as autism or ADHD among a few learning differences, and some weeks I just stick around and offer campers support when they are feeling homesick. It may not seem like much, but every week I get to watch these children grow and learn and feel excited about science.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I plan on becoming a licensed clinical social worker when I am older, specifically focusing on children’s therapy. There are not a lot of internships that are available for undergraduate students in clinical settings, so in my search for internships I felt as if this was the best fit. It has given me the opportunity to confirm that I am indeed interested in working with children, and I am very glad for that.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

Believe it or not my job is really hard; it has been a struggle adjusting to constantly talking to peers and adults to always talking with small children. My job description as a classroom support intern is to provide one on one care and support to campers who may need extra help in the classroom — this can be hard, there are times when campers are just not having a good day and that can be especially hard if they also happen to have autism, a sensory processing disorder, or other learning difference.

A lot of what I do is making sure they are comfortable in the environment and that we are able to change the environment if it becomes too stressful and overwhelming. It is hard to anticipate what exactly could be a trigger for some campers, and what is for others. It is not always the same and I am not a fortune teller. Though this may be a hard job it has also helped me learn a lot about myself. I am autistic and have sensory processing disorder and have had a really hard time dealing with everyday struggles and coping as an adult. If anything, working with these kids at the Franklin Institute has helped me become more patient with myself.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding thing about my internship is watching the campers grow; it is truly incredible to see them struggle and then overcome their problems. They are so young and learning and growing with them has been incredible. There is one camper who I worked with in the past who didn’t want to participate in an activity about bird nests Instead, we spent the time together learning about bat nests, to only find out that they were actually called “roosts.” He spent the remainder of the day telling everyone that bat nests were actually called roosts and having an overall good day. I enjoy teaching these campers at the Franklin Institute and watching them be so excited about learning; it continually makes my day. I would highly recommend this internship to anyone, especially if they enjoy working with children.

A Postcard From: Akosua-Asamoabea Ampofo ’19

Name: Akosua-Asamoabea Ampofo
Year: 2019
Major: Film



What’s happening?

This summer, I am interning at KSL, a TV news station in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a news intern, I primarily shadow journalists and write reports for newscasters. Every morning, we meet and discuss the potential stories for the day and everyone, including the interns, are given the opportunity to pitch stories. If the producer likes it, you work with a team, usually a reporter and a photog, to make that story come to life. On these shoots, I get to ask questions during interviews and or man the camera. As one of the bigger media voices in the Utah area, KSL likes to focus on local news and it has been interesting to get to see the surrounding areas as I work.

How I heard about my internship

As summer was approaching, I looked for internships around the country that had something to do with film. I applied to many places and sent my resume and cover letter to all these places. KSL were one of the few people that got back to me.

Why I applied for my internship

I am currently studying film here at Bryn Mawr and was looking for places where I could learn about production work in particular. I am aware there is a lot one can do with a film degree and I’m very interested in telling untold stories, and sharing new knowledge, so journalism is something that I am currently exploring. As such, I thought it wise to work in this environment and gain insight into how the industry works.

A Postcard From: Nikitha Shankar Shakamuri ’19

Name: Nikitha Shankar Shakamuri
Class Year: 2019
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Marlboro

Internship Placement: Robert Wood Johnson Laboratories
Job Title: Undergraduate Research Assistant
Location: Piscataway Township, N.J.

What’s happening at your internship?

Currently, we are running fentanyl self-administering rats to study the role of orexin in opioid addiction.  By using self-administering rats, we can use the Law of Demand, which leads to behavioral economics, to understand the role of orexin in reward conditioning.

Why did you apply for this internship?

The Gary Aston-Jones lab, a behavioral neuroscience lab, combines my passion for both psychology and biology. The lab also places each student with a mentor to gain skills in handling animals/histology/immunohistochemistry.

What is something you have learned from your internship that you didn’t expect?

The internship has been fantastic so far because I have learned research techniques most undergraduates learn in later years/medical school. I learned the basics of immunohistochemistry to stain tissue from markers of neuronal activation, which I would have never imagined. I also learned histology to section/mount brain tissue.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?

The biggest challenge I have faced in my internship is being the “newbie.” Everyone in the lab has had prior experience or are Rutgers veterans. As my first real wet lab experience, I found it hard at first to keep a steady, confident mind. With the help of my mentor, and the skills she taught me in a short period of time, I found the lab environment to be rewarding (no pun intended).

A Postcard From: Camila Silva ’19

Name: Camila Silva
Class Year: 2019
Major: Geology
Hometown: Everett, Mass.

Internship Placement: Sedimentology Laboratory
Job Title: Research intern
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I am continuing a research project that I began last summer. I, along with my lab team, collect peat cores from salt marshes in Plum Island, Mass., and analyze them for their percent of organic matter. We focus mainly on two creeks, West and Sweeney, that have been under observation for more than a decade now. West creek is unfertilized, however, Sweeney creek is fertilized with nitrate with each diurnal tide. In these recent years, the banks of Sweeney creek have been collapsing and the hypothesis is that since the nutrients are being introduced to the above ground biomass instead of the belowground, then the plants are losing belowground biomass since they do not really need their services. Most of my time in the internship is spent in the lab processing these cores. There are a couple ways of analyzing the carbon content of peat samples, but we use a procedure called Loss on ignition (LOI). Each core we extract is 50 cm long, thus, we cut each of them per centimeter and LOI every other segment. We weigh the dry samples before and after putting them in the muffle furnace for 4 hours at 550 degrees Celsius. With this data we then can calculate the carbon stock in each marsh and determine if there is a difference between the carbon stocks of the fertilized and unfertilized marshes to prove the hypothesis.

Why did you apply for this internship?

As an undeclared freshman I was indecisive whether to major in biology or geology, but I never had much experience with either. I worked in Professor Thomas Mozdzer’s ecology lab and he knew I was very interested in working with coastal systems so I began working a hybrid in his lab and in Professor Don Barber’s sedimentology lab. I soon grew very fond of my work in the sedimentology lab and this year I am continuing my work there.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Although I enjoy working in the lab, my favorite part of this internship is the field trips. I never really traveled so it is always fun to see new places. We have taken trips to Plum Island, Mass., SERC in Maryland and Gloucester, N.C. Each place is so different and that creates new and quite fun experiences.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

I had no clue what this internship was going to be when I stated it last year and I was very delighted with what it turned out to be. Going into it this year I thought I knew exactly what it was going to be, but I was and still am being surprised every day. I am continuously learning more about what I am doing in the lab and my ideas are always challenged, which forces me to look at certain things with different points of view.

A Postcard From: Jessie Junxuan Chu ’19

Name:  Jessie Junxuan Chu
Class Year: 2019
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Yantai, China

Internship Placement: SAP China
Job Title: Intern at Customer Development Executive SHA T2
Location: Shanghai

What’s happening at your internship?

As an intern student, I’m working as a software tester who tests the programs and tests cases for my team. Software developers write new code every day, and as a tester, I’m responsible for checking errors in their programs. Usually we start our work day by having a meeting together, talking about the progress of our teamwork and making plans for our future work. Everybody ought to report what part of the work they finished yesterday and what they will do by the end of the day. As a software tester, I’m instructed by different developers for different programs in the morning. Before we are dismissed, I write a test report in English for both the developers and the team manager. Sometimes I help the incoming software developers set up their VPN and working systems on their computers, getting more chances to talk to people that I am not familiar with. When I am not assigned tasks from developers, I continue reading the computer language textbook and writing my programs on test systems.

I’m learning new material every day and slowly getting used to the working environment. For the first week of my internship, I basically read books about the computing language exclusive to SAP and explored their internal websites. I remember there was an online global meeting prepared for the new hired employees, and I saw people from other countries leave comments. Most of the comments were about their new jobs and about the company, curious about the past and the future of their job. Those comments gave me a sense that nearly every new worker had similar concerns about their new jobs.  Meanwhile, I started to get in touch with my teammates. They helped me set up my Vietnamese VPN and sent me instructions about our complicated working system and coding language. Even though I was not in charge of software development, I had to differentiate specific symbols internal for company from error messages.

I started to write my own code in the second week and by the end of the second week, my teammates handed tasks to me. The first task was simple but exhausting. I did data configuration and created test cases according to one specific template. When there was no detailed data given to me in the template, I had to create my own data. Data could not be created without knowledge of house estate. I searched a lot online and made sure my data was reasonable.  From the third week till now, I tested the codes provided by developers and wrote feedbacks to our team. After my test, developers would debug their programs and release them to Vietnamese clients. For most of the time, the tests were complicated and I sometimes even messed up my test cases. Luckily, after I found one peculiar spot in the program, one developer could help fix the problem as soon as possible, which sped up the progress of our team work. I also did some seemingly trivial but essential work for my teammates, such as building up test systems in their computers and requesting snacks during their working hours. My managers told me that for the second half of my internship, I would prepare slides for meetings and edit articles for their global publication.

Why did you apply for this internship?

First of all, I am going to declare a minor in computer science, and I am fascinated to work in an intelligence technology company before I take on my internship. I only finished the first year of my computer science study, and I’m not good at coding. By applying for this internship, I hope I can improve my coding and alleviate the struggle that I might face in the next two years.

Secondly, I’m looking forward to attending business school after I graduate from college.  SAP is not only a company about intelligence technology, but about business. It has marketing and management departments that promote their software to other huge companies. Also, the management team have to negotiate with their customers, perceiving what kind of software design customers want. Sometimes management team has to communicate with customers to soothe their worries and suspicions about our development team, especially when numerous bugs appear in the program. We hold meetings with management team every morning. After the meeting, the management team supervises us, tracking our progress and giving us some suggestions. The interactions with the management team give me a glimpse of my potential future job.

Also, I attended a global meeting about female computer science programmers in New Town Square SAP Labs. The cozy working environment appealed me to apply for an internship at SAP. Following my earnest passion, I chose to stay at SAP in Shanghai this summer and get familiar with the complicated working environment. After this summer, I plan to get a job in the marketing or management team after I graduate from college.
The last reason that I applied for this internship is to satisfy my curiosity about IT workers. I heard some rumors that described the general personalities about IT workers, and I was interested to know if it is true or not. Clearly, most of the rumors are true — IT workers are always stressed about their codes, and the inequality of gender is true in IT industry (it might be affected by the specific department.). IT workers have to produce something that customers demand and to fix the errors that appear in their program. For all programmers, they wish that their programs could pass the all the test cases. However, such thing barely happens in real life. Developers in my team usually fix their codes for more than 50 times. Old error are fixed, but new errors appear, which stresses all of the programmers. As a tester, I am empathetic about their situations, but all I can do is to find new errors in their programs, which adds more burden on their shoulders.

Can you give us three adjectives and three nouns that describe your internship experience?

Stable schedule, well-planned (daily) tasks, and bilingual (working) environment.

A Postcard From: Courtney Eu ’19

Name: Courtney Eu
Class Year: 2019
Major: Sociology
Hometown: San Francisco

Internship Placement: 18Reasons
Job Title: Intern
Location: San Francisco

I interviewed a teacher/chef named Iris with her nutrition/cooking class for people with diabetes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s happening at your internship?

I have been interviewing different chefs, teachers and promoters who work for 18Reasons/Cooking Matters to create profiles for their website. This nonprofit provides free nutrition classes to low-income communities around the Bay Area with a mission to create a better understanding of the impact that food has on health. 18Reasons/Cooking Matters also offers nutrition classes in hospitals to give patients resources they need to get healthier. This nonprofit also offers popular cooking classes for the public, as a way to help pay for the nutrition classes and try to bring people together through food. As part of my work, I am interviewing the chefs, teachers and promoters of the programs to help promote the organization more broadly.

 

Why did you apply for this internship?

I think the relationship between people that is created when food is involved is a really interesting. The fact that only 2 percent of the population are farmers but we all rely on the crops being there for us to survive, to me, is a very interesting balance and dynamic. Food can bring people together and create a real community in many different cultures, but in the U.S. it is not as common to bring people together for meals as fast food is so prominent in our culture.

People who work with 18Reasons have stressed how strong the bond to teacher and student has been through their relationship with food. I also have been in an atmosphere where many people did not have a good relationship with food and nutrition. In high school I rowed on a lightweight crew team where making weight to be in a boat was more important than having a healthy diet or a good relationship with food, so I wanted to learn more this summer about the positive effects food and nutrition can have on people.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

I have really enjoyed interviewing the different chefs, teachers and promoters. They all come from very different backgrounds, and some even came to the organization through this program, which shows how food can impact many peoples’ lives.

Because all of them are so different, all my interviews have been unique and I have learned about different communities around the Bay Area and the world. I have also learned a lot about how people followed their passions in a way to help their communities.

Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

Some skills I am working on are how to talk to many different people from different backgrounds. Everyone I have interviewed is diverse so I am learning how to connect with people who I might not have an obvious connection to, and to get them to open up while I interview, photograph and video them. I am also working on my Photoshop and iMovie skills. I did work on Photoshop and iMovie during high school but have not used these programs in college so it has been fun to refresh and learn new skills.

I think being able to talk to and connect to many different people is important in anything that one does in life. I also think that being able to use these Adobe software programs is a skill that can be useful in my future.

Last, I believe helping get the stories of the chefs, teachers and promoters out is important. Nutrition is something that can impact many people’s lives in a positive way, but our capitalist consumer society sometimes hides this information as big food companies push their less healthy products. Hopefully nonproIits like 18Reasons/Cooking Matters can help people feel more confident in themselves and their health and help move the food industry to a more sustainable and healthy path.