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.


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: 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: 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: 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