A Postcard From: Manroocha Singh ’18

Name: Manroocha Singh
Class Year: 2018
Major: Math
Hometown: Princeton Junction, New Jersey

Internship Placement: Play On, Philly!
Job Title: Intern/Teacher’s Assistant
Location: West Catholic Preparatory High School (in West Philly)

What’s happening at your internship?

Play On, Philly! is an El Sistema based program that helps provide music education to students from the Philadelphia area — it aims to use intense, music education to help support students from diverse backgrounds. Recently, they’ve started a summer program that runs six weeks at a local high school. Classes range from private violin studio classes for different age levels to Exploratory music classes for students too young to start an instrument! The camp has two sections: an elementary/middle session that occurs in the morning, and a high school program that occurs in the afternoon. I primarily work with the elementary students in the morning.

I do a mix of logistical/admin work as well as teaching support in the Elementary Exploratory class. I help run the breakfast and lunch service (through a government-sponsored program), and in between help with supporting teachers both inside and outside the classroom. I get to specifically work with one class, where once I got to show the kids my bassoon and play Happy Birthday for them! 😀

Why did you apply for this internship?

I’ve been a bassoonist since about 2010, and music has been a very important part of my life since then. I’ve always seen it as an outlet from academic stress, and couldn’t imagine my life without it. My supervisors for the Summer of Service program (through Civic Engagement) suggested for me to look into this program since I was interested in elementary education in order to combine two passions in my life.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship hands down has been working with the students — to see so much love and enthusiasm coming from the community, especially in support for music, has been so beautiful. Also, every two weeks, we put on a summer showcase to show to the parents what the kids have been learning. Even though these concerts are very short, they have been amazing to witness. Especially after seeing the handwork the students put in — four hours a day five days a week. To see how proud they feel and how happy their parents are afterwards/during the performance is really inspiring.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

Honestly, this whole experience has been very surprising in the best way possible. I’ve established a very strong, almost mother-daughter relationship with my supervisor on site, and have learned a lot from being in the classroom and being in conversations with other teachers/admin/staff. In seeing both sides of the summer camp experience at Play On, Philly, it has really made me grow as a hopeful educator. This truly has been an eye-opening experience, but one of the best summers I’ve spent, and everything about it has only made me want to come back and continue to help out in the fall.

A Postcard From: Tu Luan ’18

Name: Tu Luan
Class Year: 2018
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Job Title: CAAR student researcher
Location: College Park, Md.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working as a student researcher in the University of Maryland, College Park under the instruction of Professor Khuller. During the previous weeks, we studied algorithms from several papers about scheduling problems and I was assigned to work on one specific open scheduling problem. In detail, the problem is to assign a limited number of jobs to a specific period and each job is valid to be assigned only on its window and gain the optimal profit. This problem is a NP problem which means it could be solved in nondeterministic polynomial time. Our goal of this summer is to find an approximation algorithm which does not give the optimal solution, but instead, gives an approximation to the optimal solution which will save the runtime of solving the problem.

Why did you apply for this internship?

Since last summer, I was doing summer research with Professor Dianna Xu in the Computer Science Department at Bryn Mawr and I found myself enjoying doing research a lot. During the 2016-2017 academic year, I decided that I want to continue my research experience and apply for graduate school during my senior year. I consulted my major advisor and she suggested me to continue applying for another summer research program for summer 2017. Therefore, I searched for available REU programs online and found this program. On the first glance, it fitted me very well since I was interested in computer science theory more than anything else, and the program was about algorithms. Then I was sending emails to the coordinator of the program about eligibility and major requirements. The coordinator replied that I was qualified to apply and after that I applied for the program.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship is that I gain the opportunity of doing research in the area I love with a helpful and inspiring instructor. The program specially matches my research interests in computer science. My instructor, Professor Khuller, instructed me with his professional understanding on the problem we work on.

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

The experience is similar in one way and different in the other way from my experience at Bryn Mawr. The similarity is that both Bryn Mawr and College Park are close to big cities. Bryn Mawr is 20 minutes from Philadelphia and College Park is 30 minutes from downtown D.C. Therefore, for both cities, it is quite convenient to access everything that is available in big cities, for example, big shopping malls and some good restaurants. I enjoy such access to big cities a lot during my time at College Park. The difference is that, the UMD campus is much bigger than Bryn Mawr Campus. And therefore, there are more stores and restaurants inside the university and I can find most of the popular cuisines inside or around the university. With a 10-minutes’ walk I can access around 20 different restaurants and therefore there are more choices at College Park than at Bryn Mawr. Overall, the experience in College Park is great.

A Postcard From: Mai Hoang ’19

Name: Mai Hoang
Class Year: 2019
Major: Economics and Math
Hometown: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

Internship Placement: ViCare.vn
Job Title: Sales and Project Management intern
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

What’s happening at your internship?

The startup that I’m interning at this summer is ViCare.vn, a healthcare platform in Vietnam that aims to connect Vietnamese people with healthcare services. I’m working both for the Project Management and Sales department at ViCare. My main responsibility during this internship is to help facilitate the connection between the company and clinics and help with promotion campaigns for ViCare’s new project, which is a testing service. Besides the time at the office searching for clinics and hospitals and reaching out to them, I have the chance to meet with the company’s investors and directly go to different clinics to meet a lot of experts in the field. I’m also in charge of various logistics tasks for the Sales department, specifically to take care of the sales kit design.

Why did you apply for this internship?

My experience at ViCare.vn last summer and my academic background provide me with strong foundation to do this internship. Last year, my brief internship at ViCare.vn as a Data Analysis and Project Management intern gave me valuable hands-on experience with a wide range of projects in a startup and allowed me to learn various technical skills. As a Project Management intern, I had the opportunity to work closely with different teams such as the Development team and Sales team to come up with new ideas and gather quantitative data to work on different projects. This has allowed me to broaden my knowledge about startups and project management and also helped me understand how sales and project management are greatly complementary. As a result, I was motivated to come back here and apply to work as a Sales and Project Management intern this summer. More importantly, ViCare.vn is a new startup that has been developing rapidly, providing an increasingly large number of services to users and connecting more and more Vietnamese with medical facilities. That’s to say, the company is now running its various projects on a much larger scale, which requires greater expertise and further experience to operate. Therefore, there would be plenty of new things for me to learn during the internship compared to the short internship I had last year.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I found this internship last summer (summer of my freshman year), but it was quite late in the summer when I found out about this. Actually, I was an audit intern at KPMG Viet Nam last summer when I heard about ViCare from a friend of mine. Although working at KPMG did a good job at introducing me to the field of audit, I found myself not really suitable for becoming an auditor while very interested in trying out a startup. For this reason, I was determined to apply to work at ViCare for the rest of my summer after my internship at KPMG ended.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Since this is a new startup (the size is not yet very big), I have the opportunity to communicate with and learn a lot from the people there. Especially, my manager once took me to go meet and talk with the company’s investors. If it wasn’t for ViCare, I wouldn’t have such opportunity to do so.


A Postcard From: Xinyan Wang ’18

Name: Xinyan Wang
Class Year: 2018
Major: French Literature and Francophone Studies
Hometown: Tianjin, China

Internship Placement: Supportive Housing Network of NY/Fresh Films
Job Title: Internship with the Chief Digital Officer
Location: New York, N.Y.

I helped to prepare and participated in one of the largest annual conferences that the Supportive Housing Network holds in the year three days into my internship. This experience was both challenging and exciting. I assisted Sarah, my supervisor and also the Chief Digital Officer at Network, to communicate with the AV team that assisted and recorded our conference, solved some technical problems on the day of conference, and uploaded the recordings of all the conferences to the YouTube Channel of the Network. After the conference, I helped offering and taking down the suggestions to restructure the official website of the Network, and update the website every day.

For Sarah’s documentary project, I did some research for her shooting later this year in China. She is making a documentary on Fecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) so I did my research on relevant doctors studying FMT in China and possible social media platforms that the film team could look for Chinese patients that are taking FMT.

The reason that I applied to this internship is that I felt it is THE perfect choice for me. I have deep passion in filmmaking and film studies and I’ve taken a documentary course at Haverford which aroused my interest in documentary films. In addition, I am also passionate about nonprofit organizations. I volunteered in an educational nonprofit organization last summer and the experience was memorable. Therefore, when I saw this opportunity, which is a combination of the two things that I’m passionate about, I knew that this is exactly what I’ve been looking for as an internship.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship is my supervisor! She is such a gorgeous person! I feel so lucky and grateful to have her as my supervisor. I learn from her every single day and I mean it. I not only learn how to do the technical things in my work from her, but more importantly, I learn how to communicate with people, how to be organized, and how to navigate between jobs and family. She values my opinion in every decision she made. She not only engages me in her work at Supportive Housing Network and her documentary project, but she also encourages and supports my independent project. Under her support, I started my independent short film project during my internship and got much valuable advice from her. She is an honorable, strong woman.

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

I got a deeper understanding of the topic of Sarah’s documentary, a microbiological one, after doing researche for her. I’d never learned about Fecal Microbiota Transplant before and microbiology has never been this close to me. Helping Sarah recruiting patients online through social media platforms, I learned about the experiences of some of the patients and how something I barely knew about had such great impact on their and their children’s lives. This experience is shocking for me.

Another thing I’ve never thought that I would start thinking about after my internship with Sarah is my attitude about my life. Under the protection and support of my parents, I never ever imagined my without them, or in a new family. Getting to know Sarah’s family made me start considering myself as an individual that will have my own life independent of my previous family. What kind of life I want to live? What are some expectations I have for my future family? I started to wonder about these questions. These are absolutely things I should keep ruminating as my life goes and I can’t tell right now what my final decision would be.


A Postcard From: Julia Lin ’17

Name: Julia Lin
Class Year: 2017
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Westchester, N.Y.

Internship Placement: Mathematics Department, Bryn Mawr College
Job Title: Research Associate (Summer Research)
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

I’m studying the Black Scholes option pricing formula under Professor Stromquist. The Black Scholes formula is used to determine the value of European-style stock options given parameters such as current stock prices, expected dividends, the price of the option, expected interest rates, time to expiration and expected volatility. Our goal is to see if this theoretical formula can be applied to current day stock portfolios to generate a profit.

Why did you apply for this internship?

One reason I decided to do Summer Research in math was because I wanted to see if I liked math enough to consider going to graduate school. Another reason was because I wanted a chance to explore financial modeling. I’m also very happy to be back on campus for the summer.

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

For this project, I’ve been primarily using Excel, but have also been learning Visual Basic in order to scrape data from the web and update my results in real-time.

Since I usually only meet with my professor once a week, I’m given a lot of freedom and responsibility to direct my own research. As a result, I’ve been forced to operate on my own schedule, do the necessary research on my own, and only reaching out to my professor to update on what I am doing, or for more guidance.

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

Three adjectives:

1. Thought-provoking
2. Stimulating
3. Rewarding

Three nouns:

1. Exploration
2. Research
3. Responsibility

A Postcard From: Nyasa Hendrix ’18

Name: Nyasa Hendrix
Class Year: 2018
Major: History of Art
Hometown: New York, New York

Internship Placement: Sadie Nash Leadership Program
Job Title: Dean
Location: NYC

Nashers at the Studio Museum in Harlem, N.Y.

What’s happening at your internship?

Workshops, introductions and tons of icebreakers. Currently, while working for Sadie Nash Leadership Program, I am working very closely with Y.W.O.C ( young womyn of color) from the ages 14-18 helping them discover their leadership, their relationship to Power, Identity and Privilege, and hosting a different leader within the social justice community on Wednesdays during community breakfast.

Nashers at the “We Wanted A Revolution” Show at the Brooklyn Museum, N.Y.

Sadie Nash is a unique space that welcomes the nuance of blackness and P.O.C-ness as an active space that tries to reject the traditional school system as well as all -isms our Nashers ( participants) might be facing. Our program has just recently started, we are two weeks in and are having hands-on connection with the Nashers. Prior to this, we deans spent four weeks training. We learned complex facilitation skills, worked closely with a social worker to be able to read signs of self-harm and neglect, all the while learning how to create complex workshops and lesson plans to teach Nashers about our own personal interests and issues that relate to the core values of Sadie Nash as an organization. Going into week three, we are looking for another exciting week, leading to a weekend of bonding away at a camp in New Jersey as an opportunity to see the budding relationships of trust and validation bloom.

Nasher + Dean Mailboxes for warm and fuzzies, theme “Slide Into the Siblinghood.”

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for Sadie Nash because it is a space I am always wanting to be a part of, one that is constantly recognizing womyn of color in all of our nuances, phases and feelings. I particularly was drawn to the notion that Sadie Nash is completely run by W.O.C and has a true dedication to constantly grounding themselves in womanism. I applied to Sadie Nash to be a part of something bigger than me, to be challenged with responsibility ( as a dean we have quite a lot. Deans are often referred to as the glue of the program) and to reconnect with an age group I often feel detached from. Sadie Nash has not disappointed; everyday I am amazed by the things the Nashers say, the respect I am am given as well as the sheer support that is offered. The honesty and support of the space has allowed me to be vulnerable in ways I didn’t know I needed to be and yet and still, I am held, properly. It is absolutely amazing to be a part of this, and even in my short time I have so many things to bring back to my Bryn Mawr community and my community beyond.

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

Sadie Nash has taught me so many things. It has taught me about myself, about my relationships and about things I need to let go of. But, one skill I have learned that I will cherish forever will be the skill to hold and cultivate space. I think this is a skill that is overlooked; to be able to make people feel like the belong, like they are valid and meaningful is a harder feat than some lead on. My experience as a Q.W.O.C (queer womyn of color) is one that is often pushed aside, disregarded and sometimes completely ignored. To be able to feel valid in a space truly means the world to me. I am happy that I have been a part of a space so spiritually and intellectually aware, that this comes as second nature. It is almost implied that when we uplift the womyn in our space, we are uplifting them for life. This is not to say that I did not have the skill already, but rather it has been developed, honed in on and expanded. I am most definitely grateful and forever indebted to the Sadie Nash space for this.

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

The biggest challenge I have faced at my internship would be a very interesting space politic. Sadie Nash as an organization really provides a particular realm of services, often a list of services those outside of the space do not understand. By this I mean, we are currently renting space and just two weeks in, we have been moved and shuffled around about three to four times. It has been on the grounds of W.O.C being “too loud,” “inconsiderate” and lots of other loaded words, terms that have historical lineages to being disrespectful and dehumanizing to W.O.C. But nevertheless, we have pushed on. It has been very hard on us as a team, to continue to cultivate the space we want with intention when others are invested to stopping that very thing. We have to do a lot of explaining to the Nashers as well as a lot of compromise that’s simply unjust and unfair. It is even harder because space, as in physical spaces, really affects how people engage, if they are even willing to do so, so it has been hard to continue to follow-though when it is being made so difficult for us to do so. But, this is where the skill of holding space comes in, because no matter what room we are in, so matter how many times we are told to be quiet, we hold our Nashers, in all of the nuance, in all of themselves and we push forward. If that isn’t Sadie Nash, then I don’t know what is.

Nashers at the Shomburg Center for Research, Harlem, N.Y.

A Postcard From: Isabella Nugent ’18

Name: Isabella Nugent
Class Year: 2018
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Green Brook, N.J.

Internship Placement: The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Job Title: Archival Research Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

Over the course of the summer, I conducted archival research to inform the curation/renovation of the Penn Museum’s African galleries. Under the leadership of advisory curator Dr. Monique Scott, I worked within a team of three Bryn Mawr students/alumni to conduct visitor research studies and investigate how “Africa” has been historically represented in the Penn Museum and in similar institutions.

However, the bulk of my time has been spent assisting the head curator, Dr. Tufuku Zuberi, gather provenance information for the objects intended for the future exhibition. Dr. Zuberi has a bold vision for the renovated galleries and intends to explore the complicated provenance of the collection. Together, our team dug through the Penn Museum’s archives to establish how the objects in the African galleries arrived at the museum with a focus on uncovering their colonial histories. We traced objects back from their creation and saw how they traded hands from the artist to dealers, tourists, ethnographers, and military leaders through letters, receipts, and photographs. I can’t reveal too much about our findings as the exhibition is still being developed, but I am extremely excited for Dr. Zuberi’s vision and to see the gallery opening.

Why did you apply for this internship?

When I was part of the Dalun-BiCo Summer Action Research Fellowship the summer after my freshman year, part of our experience included a visit to the African galleries in the Penn Museum. I was deeply disturbed by the language and presentation of objects in the “Imagine Africa” exhibit as it seemed to treat the continent of Africa as an exotic monolith. When I heard of the opportunity to work under Dr. Monique Scott to conduct research for the renovated galleries, I leapt at the opportunity. I wanted to be part of the team that would radically change the exhibit. Overall, I am extremely grateful for Museum Studies Program for the incredible experience I had working at the Penn Museum this summer.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

I loved so many aspects about this internship, from getting to learn from the wonderful Monique Scott to the loveliness of the other interns to the pure fun of being in a museum all day. However, what I appreciated most was being able to work with incredible archival materials. Just the feeling of being able to piece a complicated story together was such a fun and revealing experience and I never got over the shock of being able to hold such an important letter or photo in my own hands. This experience fueled my love for history and my belief in the importance of archival work.

Was this internship what you expected it to be?

I did not expect to this internship to be as hands-on as it was and I was pleasantly surprised. At other internships, interns are delegated menial tasks and learn little from their experience. This was not the case for us. We communicated directly with the head curator and we were entrusted with important research responsibilities. I was able to work with invaluable archival materials and I was given so much support every step of the way. This level of trust and freedom is what makes this internship experience stand out from every other.

A Postcard From: Jenisha Stapleton ’19

Name: Jenisha Stapleton
Class Year: 2019
Major: Biology
Hometown: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Internship Placement: Epidemiology Division, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health
Job Title: Summer Intern with the Vaccine Preventable Disease Program Coordinator
Location: St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Screenshot of the beginning of my first educational video.

Self-portrait with one of the Zika posters in the office.

What’s happening at your internship? 

As an intern with the Epidemiology Division of the VI Department of Health, my primary program focus is working with the Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance Program (VPDSP), whose goals include increasing provider participation in reporting and implementing standardized practices. The program is in the process of being launched and my principal responsibilities entail developing content for the VPDSP newsletter and website. This includes creating educational scripts and short videos. So far, I have completed and recorded my first video, which guides health providers on how to properly fill out the Notification of Infectious Diseases form. I am working towards completing scripts on other topics related to the program or overall division.

Why did you apply for this internship? 

My interest in epidemiology and public health along with my fondness for my home island inspired me to contact the Territorial Epidemiologist and create this internship opportunity. After following the state of the Zika virus in the U.S. Virgin Islands and learning that the majority of the cases came from my home island of St. Thomas, I was compelled to take action and this internship is a result of my initial concern and enthusiasm. This internship is helping to facilitate my growth as a young professional, better define my long-term career goals, and do work that will influence the community of my native island.

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

Learning to use software and programs, such as website/newsletter creators and video makers, has been challenging yet fun. Through trial and error and Google, of course, I have been able to gain an understanding of how to use these various programs. As I continue using them, I will become more familiar with various features and functions. This is helping to develop my technical skills, which in the future, I will be able to apply to for assignments. Being able to communicate and present information using different platforms is useful in this age and helps to appeal to a greater audience.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

In addition to doing work in launching the VPD surveillance program which will ultimately impact my community, I am grateful for the opportunity to receive mentorship and network with my supervisors and everyone on the team. They have shared their journeys to epidemiology and public health, which has informed my personal career path and has influenced my decision to pursue research opportunities and also a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology.


A Postcard From: Tara Wadhwani ’18

Name: Tara Wadhwani
Class Year: 2018
Major: Political Science, French
Hometown: Pune, India

Internship Placement: The Nationalities Service Center
Job Title: Resettlement and Community Integration Intern
Location: Philadelphia

My role at the nationalities Service Center has been versatile, and I get to work on a really diverse variety of projects.

I started out mostly planning events that The Nationalities Service Center (NSC) was hosting, including a press conference in honor of World Refugee Day, as well as a World Refugee Day festival which took place in the City Hall courtyard. I’ve also been involved in client airport pickups and home visits, where we pick newly arrived refugees up from the airport and take them to their new apartments. I’ve also been doing a lot of French interpretations to help our clients communicate with their case managers, and vice versa.

My most consistent project has been working to gather resources for LGBT+ refugees, and helping to lay the foundations of a weekly support group for this community, who are among the most vulnerable clients at NSC.

I applied to this internship because I saw it as an opportunity to explore the ways in which nonprofits can work to address the needs of their diverse client-base, taking into account the different identities and intersections of identity using their services.

I was really fortunate that the coordinators of Summer of Service were in contact with my supervisor and knew my interests well enough to be able to connect me with her. Summer of Service was a great support system for me, and it was nice having Ellie and Vippy as a resource while I was stressed about finding a placement. I also really liked that NSC is located in Center City Philadelphia, and I got to know and explore the city much more than I ever had before, despite the fact that I am going into my senior year.

The biggest challenge I have faced at my internship is remaining culturally conscious and competent while spending time with the clients, especially during the LGBT+ support group. Because the populations NSC works with are often survivors of torture, human trafficking, and other trauma-inducing experiences, I aimed to listen intently, offer support, while still maintaining professional boundaries. Also, when discussing LGBT+ specific issues, I tried my best to refrain from imposing my own culturally specific understanding of these issues, and be open to the clients’ individual perspectives