A Postcard From: Virushi Shah ’18

Name: Virushi Shah
Class Year: 2018
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Bombay, India

Internship Placement: Thorro LLC
Job Title: Business Analyst Intern
Location: Piscataway, N.J.

What’s happening at your internship?

Thorro LLC is a boutique management consulting firm. Every day we do and learn something new. Right now, I have been assigned to create business models for a client about investigating potential emerging technologies.

At the same time, I have been assigned to come up with different marketing strategies and prepare proposals for implementation for the same.

Why did you apply for this internship?

When I was applying for this internship, Thorro LLC stood out, as though it was a consulting company, it believes that technology is the key to the future. They strive to keep up with technology and integrate it within their firm.

Logic, numbers, creating models are some of the things that truly fascinate me. How one person can forecast the future and be able to tell you where “x” market will be in say 20 years and these aren’t just guesses but, have logically flow behind it. It has always been my dream to work as a business analyst, being able to this in the United States would give me a different exposure as I am from India. Therefore, I applied here.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part about working here, at a small firm, is that my ideas and opinions have so much importance and don’t just fall away. Another intern and I had this idea about changing up their website and once we pitched it to our supervisor, in the couple of hours we were discussing our ideas and implementation strategies with the CEO for the same.
At the same time, I love the independence given to me. Once I have discussed the main topic of my model, I have the freedom to carry it out and work on it, in any way I see fit, without being constantly monitored or being told how to execute it.

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

The three adjectives the I would describe my experience would be: Fast-paced, Innovative and Exciting

The three nouns the I would describe my experience would be: team, exposure and reality.

A Postcard From: Emma Wu ’18

Name: Emma Wu
Class Year: 2018
Major: Geology
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Internship Placement: School District of Philadelphia
Job Title: Office of Environmental Management and Services
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working on a couple projects! Primarily, my job is facilitating a district wide waste diversion competition that will run next school year. Secondly, I am working on a Recycling Resource Guide that compiles signage, troubleshooting guides, set-up tips, etc., for schools that will be starting their recycling programs in the fall. Smaller projects of mine have included making a Principals How To Guide to give principals an access point to start sustainbilizing (not really a word, but my department uses it constantly and claims it will be by the completion of their program) their schools, making a master social media calendar, sitting on environmentally focused committees, and completing typical data management tasks.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have always been interested in conservation and education! I thought this would be a good opportunity to work on improving real world skills in both of these fields. My previous experience is mostly in research and I wanted to try out working in an office. I have also never stayed in Philadelphia for the summer and this job gave me plenty of opportunities to explore downtown Philadelphia.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

I have learned so much about design I expected this internship to push me to practice using any conservation, education and networking skills I have gathered through my time at Bryn Mawr. I did not expect this internship to utilize any of my passions for art. I’ve been able to cultivate a relatively brandable aesthetic that will be used by the district in multiple resource guides. This has not only encouraged me to improve my eye for layout work but also heightened my awareness around readership accessibility.

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

Adjectives: Personally informative, Rewarding, and Environmentally Conscious

Nouns: Aesthetic, A Challenge, Sustainable Design

A Postcard From: Sanam Sheriff ’18

Name: Sanam Sheriff
Class Year: 2018
Major: Creative Writing
Hometown: Bangalore, India

Internship Placement: GirlFoward
Job Title: Teaching Intern
Location: Austin, Texas

What’s happening at your internship?

My internship this summer is with GirlForward. They are an organization that runs a range of different programs to help teenage refugee girls from all over the world who are resettling in America. Once here, they all enter regular public high schools in the states, and the gaps and distances to be covered — be that language, culture, religion, race, gender and politics — are vast. I am a teaching intern at a Camp GirlForward which is a 6-week summer program designed to help teach the girls English, begin and facilitate conversations around identity, and get them better acquainted with the city and how to navigate it. We have campers from Syria, Afghanistan, Burma, Congo and Pakistan, to name a few. Every day, we plan and run different activities, and every day, all of us emerge having learnt something new and valuable.

Why did you apply for this internship?

The modern refugee crisis is just that — a crisis. The brutal realities of so many people displaced and persecuted around the world should not be able to coincide so seamlessly with the luxury and comfort in so many of our lives. GirlForward beautifully combines my will to contribute and help this cause with my passion for the empowerment and education of women. I applied to this internship because I knew it would be meaningful work that would propel my growth as an individual and invest my time in a manner that is not tangible or quantifiable, but transformative nonetheless.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has been forming and building my relationships with the girls. Our stories and lives have been so different and far apart, yet, there is something so amazing about the way we can join hands in a space of community and love. To earn their trust has been most rewarding. To share my own culture with them, and in that transaction, learn more about theirs, has continuously challenged and shifted my perspective. To witness them learn about themselves in a way they haven’t experienced before, to offer them ownership of their bodies and minds and belief systems in a way that brings them pride and self-worth, is work I will never get tired of pouring myself into. It has been a humbling and constant growing experience to get to know their stories, and it makes me so excited to think about the women they will become.

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

Empowering. Challenging. Necessary.
Bridges. Perspective. Growth.


A Postcard From: Angela Zhang ’19

Name: Angela Zhang
Class Year: 2019
Major: Chemistry
Hometown: San Diego, CA

Internship Placement: MD Anderson Cancer Center
Job Title: Summer Student
Location: Houston, Texas

What’s happening at your internship?

For 10 weeks this summer, I have been working on a research project in a genetics lab which will culminate in a poster presentation. The lab’s focus is on the p53 gene pathway, a major breakthrough in cancer research since mutant p53 is a hallmark of many cancers. My specific project lies in the field of onco-immunology and involves analyzing and comparing different tumor microenvironments of mice tumor tissues with different genetic makeups by microscope. To create the microscope slides, a process called immunohistochemistry is used to amplify the immune cell or protein of interest. After images are taken of the tissues, a program called ImageJ is used to quantify the desired cells or proteins present.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to when internship when I received an email from LILAC stating that two positions were available for Bryn Mawr students at MD Anderson. I decided it would not hurt to apply in addition to the other research programs I was applying to. Although I had not taken any biology classes during my time at Bryn Mawr, I thought that it was a good opportunity to experience work in a research lab.

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

I learned that I have the tools and skills I need to dive into a research area I am unfamiliar with. Despite my lack of knowledge in biology, I quickly learned the basics of onco-immunology and the p53 pathway within the first few weeks of my internship. My mentor provided me with relevant papers to read, and I looked up journal articles in my free time. I also had to quickly learn many research techniques required for my project, which involved learning how to deal with constant failures and mistakes with experiments. Good communication with my mentor helped to mediate the unavoidable conflicts that would come up in the lab, and learning to view these events as learning experiences was useful as well.

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

This internship is the first time I have lived away from my family for an extended amount of time outside of school. The first few weeks were overwhelming since I had to learn how to ride the buses and shop for groceries, but I got the hang of it quickly. I learned that I really enjoy buying food and cooking for myself. The heat and humidity as well as thunderstorms took some getting used to, and I got so many mosquito bites I had to buy bug spray. The city has a lot to offer, and I liked to spend my weekends in the museum district and watching free (!) performances such as Pippin the Musical and Twelfth Night at the outdoor theatre. The image above is from the Pixel Forest installation by Pipilotti Rist at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

A Postcard From: Kalaina Thorne ’18

Name: Kalaina Thorne
Year: Class of 2018
Major: Biology
Hometown: Randolph, Mass.

Internship: Harvard Forest Summer Intern
Location: Petersham, Mass.

What’s Out There?: A Small Yet Large Study of Harvard Forest

This summer I am working under Sydne Record and John Grady’s project on seedling dynamics. I chose this internship to get more of a feel for the ecological field that I was introduced to a few years ago, and to continue research in Sydne’s lab at Bryn Mawr. This is my second ecological summer research experience.

The aim of my project is to understand seedling population dynamics, with respect to abundance and growth rates, within Harvard Forest’s 35 hectre megaplot. Colleen (my research partner) and I have randomly set up fifty 1 m2 pvc plots across the megaplot, and have located, tagged and measured the height of all stems that have a diameter under 1 cm. In addition, we have measured diameters of certain species within and near our plot. Why 1 cm? Well, the megaplot was created in 2010 to start a long-term census of all trees over 1 cm. This 1 cm rule was likely done out of practicality, because the number of seedlings and trees that are under 1 cm are vastly greater than the number of established trees. In addition, the survivorship of seedlings is typically greatly reduced compared to their established counterparts. Hence, seedlings have been previously deemed unnecessary for study due to their high mortality and abundance.

The challenging highlights of this summer have been crawling through woody bush to reach potential plots and having daily battles with various insects. However, our data will be added to this previous dataset to understand more about forest composition, with this inclusion of data for more of the total forest population. In addition, our goal for the project is to study the idea of energy equivalence. This hypothesis states that body size does not determine how much total energy is used across different size classes of individuals.

This theory is interesting because it does not look at species specific differences, like herbivory vs carnivory. Body size relationships to energy use is the most important determining factor driving this hypothesis. How does one go about tackling such a theory? Well, we are measuring energy use as a function of growth, and will group our height and diameter data to create size classes for our communities. We are measuring the heights and diameters of our tagged seedlings for this initial census, and they will be measured again towards the end of the summer. This will allow us to understand how much energy these individuals are using. When the second set of measurements are in, we will compare the energy use (growth rate) between our size classes.

This summer was my first field experience in a forest. I have previous collected data on coral reefs and seabirds off an island, so it has been interesting working with organisms a little closer to my everyday life. Another interesting aspect of the summer has been discovering the various wildlife within the forest. We have seen things as small as red eft newts and as big as white-tailed deer, adding to the wonder and beauty of the forest, and the experience of the summer. I have also learned a great deal about the various plant life in the forest, like the tasty wild blueberries and beautiful striped maple. I plan on using this research and any further data for my senior thesis presentation in the spring.

A Postcard From: Nattalya Pacheco ’18

Name: Nattalya Pacheco
Class Year: 2018
Major: Sociology; Child and Family Studies minor
Hometown: Guaynabo, P.R.

Internship Placement: Puentes de Salud
Job Title: Puentes Hacia el Futuro Tutor
Location: Southwark School

What’s happening at your internship?

At my internship, I am one of 17 tutors working with Latinx children in South Philadelphia between the ages of 8 and 12. We guide the students through a summer bilingual literacy program. Our mornings include group read aloud and literacy focused small-group work. Our afternoons with the kids are filled with enrichment activities such as art, Scrabble, dance and healthy living lessons with nurse practitioners. Additionally, every Friday there is a field trip to a different location, such as Snipes Farm, Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences, and others.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to this internship because I really enjoy working with kids and I wanted to learn more about and work with the Latinx community in Philadelphia. Additionally, I loved the fact that Puentes is focusing on such an important factor such as language development and use among Latinx children living in the U.S.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Honestly my favorite part is the kids. They bring this amazing energy with them and I love hearing everything they have to say and seeing how they balance two languages in their daily lives. They are extremely sweet and just wonderful to be around.

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

Rewarding, challenging, fun. Team, home, energy.

A Postcard From: Rina Patel ’18

Name: Rina Patel
Class Year: 2018
Major: Growth and Structure of Cities
Hometown: Buffalo Grove , Ill.

Internship Placement: Energy Vision
Job Title: Summer Associate
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

Energy Vision is such a fun place to work at! I’ve been working on a few different projects. Earlier in the summer I was helping EV out on a project they’ve partnered with the U.S Department of Energy on compiling information about Renewable Natural Gas initiatives across the country. I’ve been doing a lot of projects around outreach and civic engagement, I’ve been in touch with officials across NYC’s boroughs advocating for Renewable Natural Gas and its benefits to the NYC community, and I’ve been identifying potential partnerships with grassroots organizations.

Catherine Rowen 2018 and I representing EV!

We’ve also just had lots of fun representing Energy Vvision at various events across the city. One that I enjoyed the most was New York City’s Food Waste fair where we were able to connect with NYC Sustainability Director Mark Chambers.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I’m a Cities major and Environmental Studies minor, so Energy Vision seemed like the perfect opportunity to apply my two passions: combining renewable energy policy and research and the viability in urban spaces. There was also the added excitement of exploring and analyzing renewable energy options in New York City, the best place for any Cities major!

Was there anything special you found about this internship?

Something very special has been working with BMC alumna Joanna Underwood. She’s been such a delight. Joanna had so many fond memories and stories form her time at Bryn Mawr. She also shared stories from her mother, who was in Katherine Hepburn’s class!

It was so moving to see this awesome Mawrter running and managing her own nonprofit and care so much about her work. She’s so passionate about protecting the planet form climate change. I loved working closely with her and hearing her experiences made me appreciate the value of the Bryn Mawr community. Very rarely are we able to connect with other people so deeply in such a short amount of time. Having both Bryn Mawr and our passion for the environment bring us together is truly incredible.

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

It became obvious to me why New York City is called the greatest city on Earth! Not sure if I 100% agree with that characterization yet, but I had so much fun exploring New York. There was never a shortage of things to do. I made many new friends in addition to reconnecting with friends from Bryn Mawr, high school, study abroad, and even past internships in different cities. NYC is really where people from all walks of life come together. Living on my own in Brooklyn was such a blast and I’m so much more willing to move to new places and cities because of this experience!


A Postcard From: Seneca Shetty ’18

Name: Seneca Shetty
Class Year: 2018
Major: Economics and Fine Arts
Hometown: Morgantown, W.Va.

Internship Placement: AnaOno Intimates
Job Title: Data Analysis Intern
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.

What’s happening at your internship?

I put together information, primarily from customer data, to present to current and potential investors. AnaOno is preparing to move into an official office space and is already planning for New York Fashion Week 2018.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I believe in AnaOno’s company mission as well as in the efficacy of their products.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I heard AnaOno’s CEO, Dana Donofree, speak at an investor’s meeting in Philadelphia this past fall and, as someone who has worked doing bra fittings for breast cancer survivors in the past, thought the concept behind the company was both necessary and incredibly important.

My boss (Dana Donofree) working on new designs while I work on the computer in the background.

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

I have learned that both community participation and respect are very important to establishing strong business roots.

A Postcard From: Margot Wisel ’18

Name: Margot Wisel
Class Year: 2018
Major: Sociology
Hometown: Castro Valley, Calif.

Internship Placement: Sweet Farm Sanctuary
Job Title: Outreach, Development, and Animal Care Intern
Location: Half Moon Bay, Calif.

What’s happening at your internship?

Sweet Farm Foundation is a very young nonprofit, and I am their first intern, so I have had the opportunity to do a wide variety of work guided by my areas of interest and their needs here. I love learning about animal care and interacting directly with all of our animal residents, but that only takes up a fraction of the time I spend on the farm. The rest of my activities involve everything it takes to build and maintain a young nonprofit organization. Fundraising and interacting with our donors and supporters is very important, so I have devoted time to communicating our appreciation, encouraging further support, and talking to other animal shelters and sanctuaries. Earlier this month I had a great conversation with the President of the Peninsula Humane Society! I took initiative in reaching out on more social media platforms by keeping our Twitter active and creating a Snapchat account, where I post stories following my daily activities with the animals and around the farm. This has ended up being one of the most rewarding parts of my internship. Sanctuaries have been a very important, positive part of my life for a long time, and I keep them in my life through their social media communication. Getting feedback from people saying my animal videos are the highlight of their day, or that they watch the story with a family member every day, and knowing that my own work is doing for them what other sanctuaries have done for me, is incredible.

Some of my time is dedicated to administrative upkeep, such as filing and keeping our documents organized. Even the most tedious of tasks, however, are never really boring, as I have three partners in crime that keep me company in my office — Higgins the Chorkie (chihuahua/yorkie), Pow, and Oscar, the small dogs that live in the house on the farm property.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have wanted to volunteer or intern at a farm animal sanctuary for over a year now. I have not eaten any meat for several years, but I have always had disagreements with vegan activism, and often animal rights or animal welfare activism as well. My interest lies in working towards sustainability and accessibility through education, and farm sanctuaries like Sweet Farm provide an opportunity to do just that, while rejecting the hostility and exclusivity that seems to be typical of so much vegan or animal welfare activism. We have a member’s day open to the public once a month, and occasionally volunteers come for a day of service. I pour my energy into caring for the animals and researching environmental and ethical problems within the food industry, so that I can be better informed about my own choices and able to answer any questions visitors or guests ask on these days. One of my ongoing projects is compiling the information I find into educational reference guides, such as a sheet outlining and explaining the many welfare certifications eggs.

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

Farming! Sweet Farm is first and foremost an animal sanctuary even though “farm” and not “sanctuary” is in the name, but we also have an agricultural component as part of our work towards a sustainable food system. A few times a week, I go down to the fields with our agricultural director and help keep our crops healthy. The difference a few weeks can make is incredible! When I arrived, most of our plants were very young or not yet sown, and now the ground is bursting with sweet peas, artichokes, dahlias, beans, squash, sunflowers, and all sorts of other flowers and vegetables.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of the day is probably the morning animal care routine — I go to the barn and let out the goats (Hoover, Alfie, Juno, Brownie, Butterscotch, and Nibblets, aka Mama Goat), then the sheep (Jupiter, Stella, and Hilo), and then the cows (Gizmo and our new calf who is yet to be named), and finally Paco the llama. Sturgis, our 34-year-old horse, does not get let out until the afternoon, but I make sure to check in on him while he has his breakfast. After saying “hi” to everyone and giving them some attention, I put out their hay and go down to the chicken yard. There, I feed the chickens (we currently have almost 60) and our three ducks (Lucky, Fred Waddlesworth, and Ethel Copperbottom), and put out fresh water for them to drink and play in. Along the way, I may get to see some of the cats that live on the farm (Farfield, Gretchen, Jackie, or Elsie). Whether I am sitting with Lucky the duck on a quiet afternoon, petting her as she falls asleep, or I am giving attention to our two most rambunctious goats, Brownie and Butterscotch, who behave like 300 pound puppies, all of the moments I get with the animals are precious, and remind me why I am so invested in this work.

A Postcard From: Leonor Beatriz Suarez ’18

Name: Leonor Beatriz Suarez
Class Year: 2018
Major: Philosophy
Minor: Political Science
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.

Internship Placement: Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law
Job Title: Intern
Location: Villanova, Pa.

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer, I was given the opportunity to intern at Villanova University’s School of Law. I have been working mainly under Professor Caitlin Barry in the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC) at Villanova. Most of the cases that FLAC sees involves undocumented immigrant and migrant farmworkers fighting deportation and/or unfair working conditions — it’s been an incredibly interesting and eye-opening experience for me, especially given the current political atmosphere.

The cases that I have seen over the summer have usually involved finding relief from deportation proceedings, which has often come in the form of asylum status for many of FLAC’s clients. Aside from engaging with clients and working on their cases, I have also helped Professor Barry create outreach materials for her many young clients to help them navigate the process of obtaining official documents such as photo IDs, work permits, and enrolling in afterschool programs. Professor Barry has also allowed me to observe her court appearances and attend a discussion in which she was a panelist for the city of Philadelphia’s annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) conference.

When I am not helping Professor Barry with FLAC, I have split my time helping some of the other professors and paralegal in the clinic office, usually conducting intake calls or doing file maintenance for the Civil Justice and Federal Income Tax Clinic.

Why did you apply for this internship?

A few things motivated me to apply for the internship at Villanova’s Law School. The first reason is that I am planning on pursuing a legal education, and ultimately a career in the law, but have no immediate connections to lawyers or judges. I sought fist-hand experience in a law setting so that I would know better what the day-to-day looks like for a lawyer, and so I could better decide whether pursuing a legal career was the right move for me. The second reason is that I wanted to somehow be involved in a public-interest movement, and working with migrant and immigrant farmworkers was something I felt strongly about doing.

Overall, this internship has been invaluable for me; having the opportunity to work so closely with a law professor who is so passionate about her work has made me very excited about pursuing a career in law.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

One of my favorite parts of this internship has been working under a law professor who truly loves both aspects of her job – directing FLAC and teaching the Clinic. Professor Barry would make it a point to explain the work she was doing, talk me through the decisions she made regarding her clients’ cases, and ask for my feedback. Rather than just giving me directives, she went out of her way to make sure that I understood not only what I was doing, but also why I was doing the things she was asking me to do. Because of that, I felt much more confident interacting with clients and performing my tasks in the Clinic. I also feel that I will be able to walk away from this internship having truly learned and understood at least some of the foundational aspects of the law involving immigrant and migrant farmworkers.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding part of this internship for me has been interacting with clients. As a philosophy major, most of my time and energy is directed at analyzing abstract thoughts, which is something I love to do, but at the same time it can leave me feeling a little unsatisfied. This internship has allowed me to see the tangible side of legal theory — to see law applied to a particular set of facts that ultimately has the power to change a person’s life. Many of the clients that FLAC saw this summer seem well positioned to receive relief from their deportation proceedings, which is the kind of palpable result that does leave me feeling satisfied.