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.