Halena Martin ’20: The Innocence Project

Name: Halena Martin
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science and Sociology
Hometown: Eatontown, N.J.

Internship Organization: Innocence Project
Job Title: Intake Intern
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I had the privilege of interning for the Innocence Project as a Liman Fellow. The Innocence Project is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. I am interning with the Intake Department which is tasked with weeding through the enormous number of requests for assistance that the Innocence Project receives (approximately 2,400 new requests per year). At any given time, the Innocence Project is evaluating between 6,000 and 8,000 potential cases.

As an intake intern, I assist with the identification and evaluation of cases for possible representation. My main responsibility is producing memoranda which include a summary of the facts, possible avenues for DNA testing to prove innocence, and my recommendation on whether the case should move forward to the legal department. The other intake interns and I report to the case analysts who review our work in biweekly meetings.

Interning at the Innocence Project has been an incredibly formative experience. It has exposed me to the early stages of post-conviction legal work, has deepened my understanding of the faults in our criminal justice system, and has helped me develop my reading, writing, and analytical skills.

Why did you apply for this internship?

In one of my classes last semester, my professor posed the question of whether the implicit risk of executing an innocent person makes the death penalty inherently immoral. This question really drew my attention to issues surrounding wrongful conviction. So, I knew when the Innocence Project came up in my internship search, it was the organization I wanted to intern with.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

There are numerous rewarding aspects of my internship. The most rewarding is the ability to do meaningful work. Not only am I able to be a part of an impactful organization, but I am given the opportunity to work hands-on with actual cases.

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

My biggest challenge has been the emotional work of reading through case documents. I read both the testimonies of people who have been the victims of heinous crimes and the letters from defendants who see the Innocence Project as their last hope. It has prepared me well for the areas of law I may go into in the future. It has also made me more appreciative of the downtime I got to spend with friends, family, and (especially) my puppy this summer!

Xenia Kibbelaar ’20: Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Name: Xenia Kibbelaar
Class Year: 2020
Major: History
Hometown: Curaçao

Internship Organization: Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Job Title: Volunteer
Location: Philadelphia

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I am a volunteer at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Center City, Philadelphia. For the 10 weeks that I am there, I have been working on a database project called the Encounters Database Project. This project consists of transcribing 19th century records and creating electronic versions of such records. The electronic versions will then be accessible online for the public to use. The records that I have been working with are those from am organization called Orphan Aid Society. The Orphan Aid Society was founded in 1814 and lasted until its merging with Elwyn School in 1965. This organization would take care of orphans or those that were fatherless. I worked on various records from 1846 to 1928.

I applied for this internship because I was interested in the Encounters Database project. I also wanted to learn more about archival work. Furthermore, I thought it would be interesting to spend the summer learning a little bit about the history of Pennsylvania, where I have been living for the past three years.

There are many skills that I am using and also learning at the same time. For instance, one of the biggest skills that I’m learning is how to read the handwriting. The handwriting from the 19th century is a lot different from the handwriting of today. So, at times, it can quite difficult to understand what was written. Besides the differences in how the letters are written, some entries can be so faded that they are hard to read. Thus, at times the entries are like a puzzle, you have to figure out what fits together and what doesn’t. Another skill that I’m learning is how to transcribe all the information found into the computer and how to organize all that information in a way that is accessible for people to use. Another skill that is incredibly important is patience. When working with a volume that’s hundreds of pages and covers several years, it is important to know that you will not finish it in days, but rather in weeks. I learned that with the first volume that I worked on that took me two to three weeks to complete. It is also the type of work where with time, you can see the results.

The most rewarding thing about the internship is seeing all the work that I have done. Knowing that I have done something that can help people have access to a small part of history that may have been inaccessible before is very rewarding.

 

Viktoriia Borodina ’21: Deutsche Bank

Name: Viktoriia Borodina
Class Year: 2021
Major: Biology and Economics
Hometown: Novosibirsk, Russia

Internship Organization: Deutsche Bank
Job Title: Global Markets Summer Analyst
Location: New York City

What’s happening at your internship?

The Global Markets division is also known as Sales & Trading. Along with other sophomore interns, I have been assigned to two rotations across S&T — specifically, Asset-Backed Securities (Lender Finance) and Emerging Markets Trading & Structuring.

I was able to get involved with multiple projects for both of my rotations, getting to participate in all stages of credit structuring. For the Lender Finance group, for example, I was involved in deals with credit funds with up to U.S. $50 billion Assets Under Management. I worked with various credit models, composed internal credit memos and prepared marketing material for potential buyers of Deutsche Bank’s loans/facilities. For the Emerging Markets Trading & Structuring, I have sat on the trading floor for two weeks, learning about the various products offered by the trading desk — such as Latin American FX, Rates, and Credit.

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Why did you apply for this internship?

This summer I was fortunate to be selected for the dbAchieve internship designed specifically for sophomores of diverse backgrounds. I have applied because I am interested in pursuing a career in finance and was looking for an opportunity to define and narrow down my interests. I was further fascinated by the global nature of Deutsche Bank (DB) and wanted to experience what it’s like being a part of a multinational bank.

 

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Being able to meet and get to know inspiring people throughout DB. I made sure that I networked extensively during my time here, both with people in my rotations and outside. Shadowing traders/salespeople was very insightful — I got to see what goes into their everyday trade decisions, and how exactly the markets work.

Talking to people has also helped me define my own interests, as I learned that I am more interested in project-based work compared to short day-to-day transactions.

I have greatly enjoyed working with my teams as well. Everyone was willing to help me learn and succeed at the internship. I was able to eventually comprehend some of the nuances of working on credit structuring and live deals, adding value to my team by working on some parts of their projects.

Living in a new city?

New York City is a fascinating place to spend a summer. There is just so much to do and explore. Although I have lived in big cities my entire life, I was impressed by how much is going on in NYC daily. Despite being busy during the week, I took full advantage of living in the city on the weekends – from exploring museums to local coffee shops, I was able to get a taste of what it’s like to live in New York (and I loved it!).

Marilyn Harbert ’20: RepresentWomen

Name: Marilyn Harbert
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Atlanta

Internship Organization: RepresentWomen
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Takoma Park, Md.

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What’s happening at your internship?

This summer I am an intern at RepresentWomen, a nonprofit which does research and advocacy to increase women’s representation in politics. My focus is research on donations to federal political candidates, from PACs and individual donors, broken down by gender. It may sound dry, but it is exactly what I want to be doing this summer, as I get a chance to improve my skills in data analysis tools, and dive deep into systemic barriers that women candidates face.

Why did you apply for this internship?

2018 was fantastic for female candidates, but Congressional representation only rose from 20.6% to 23.7%. That level of progress is not enough. Only with systemic reforms can we ensure this progress is substantial and sustainable. That is why I chose to work for RepresentWomen, because I wanted to do research that helps push forward systemic reforms to make political gender parity a reality.

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

Campaign finance research mixes my two passions perfectly, politics and programming. As a political science major, my classes have prepared me to read the papers, do the writing and the research. But for me, it’s even more fun to stretch the programming skills that I developed through my computer science minor.

For this internship I have been learning Python and R, and developing critical new skills in data science. While my programming background has substantially reduced the learning curve on these languages, some days I still find myself wanting to bang my head against the table. So wish me luck, because I need it!

Although I may get frustrated at times, I am also reminded why I love to program. When everything runs smoothly and my graph finally loads, there’s nothing like the feeling of empowerment I get from seeing the results of my work outputted in my terminal.

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

I did not expect to be in the halls of Congress, lobbying for bills on voting rights and free menstrual products for students.

My boss registered all of the interns for a conference run by IGNITE, an organization that trains and empowers young women to run for office. We were surrounded by dozens of inspiring young women and heard from Congresswomen including several boundary breakers: Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Deb Haaland, and Sharice Davids. Sessions on field engagement, media training, and fundraising made me start to think seriously about what a political campaign that I may run might look like. When I was told to look into a video camera, and declare my ambition to run for office, I started to actually believe it might happen.

The last day of the conference, we spent nervous hours rehearsing exactly how we’d pitch the chosen bills to our representatives. Before I knew it, I found myself sitting in U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s office, speaking passionately about voting rights to his chief of staff.

In the accompanying pictures, you can see me in front of the senate office building, with my fellow interns in front of the capitol, and with U.S. Rep. Pressley, excited to support women fighting for change in our country.

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marilyn

Zhi Zheng ’20: ChangJiang Securities

Name: Zhi Zheng
Class Year: 2020
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Wuhan, China

Internship Organization: ChangJiang Securities
Job Title: investment management internship
Location: Wuhan, China

What’s happening at your internship?

This summer, I work as an intern at a securities company in Wuhan, China.
As a math major, I was assigned to the investment management department, where they need people to analyze data.

Why did you apply for this internship?

This company is a very famous securities company in China. As a math student minoring in economics, I feel like the financial industry is the right place for me. So I decide to apply for the role at a securities company, which I think would be helpful for my later career choice.

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

Communication plays a very critical role in investment management, especially when you negotiate with your clients. After participating in several meetings with my supervisor, I realized how people talk is much more complicated than I thought, such as how to persuade your colleagues and supervisor to support your strategy, how to negotiate with clients to make a win-win deal. Speaking is another kind of art; sometimes the way you express your statements can decide the outcome of the whole thing.

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

Our job is to find the potential companies which will be listed in the future and decide to invest a certain amount of money to help them speed-to-market. It is a challenge for me because as an analyzer, you not only need to understand data, but you also have to know quite well the industry to which your target company belongs. So for the first two weeks of the internship, I started studying the laser industry, reading numerous economic reports every week, and writing an industrial summary to my team. Thanks to the economics classes I took at Bryn Mawr, this work was not as hard as I thought.

After we got to know enough about the domestic laser industry, we started looking for some local laser companies which will be listed soon. This is a long process. Right now, our team is still working on it, and we have a list of potential companies which satisfy our requirements. Next step, our team will have a direct meeting with each company to further discuss our investment.

Madeleine Hall ’21: William Way LGBT Community Center

Name: Madeleine Hall
Class Year: 2021
Major: Anthropology
Hometown: Bellingham, Wash.

Internship Organization: William Way LGBT Community Center
Job Title: Senior Programs Intern
Location: Philadelphia

This summer, I have the great opportunity to intern at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia, which just had its 45th anniversary. The Community Center exists to provide queer people and their allies with resources, support, and opportunities to better their lives. The Center provides a range of services from free peer counseling, support groups for, cheap yoga classes, recovery meetings, education about HIV and testing, and is a judgement free place to hang out 365 days a year. Along with all of this, it houses incredible art exhibitions (come visit now to see an amazing exhibition honoring the 50th anniversary of Stonewall), and the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives, which has the largest collection of LGBT ephemera in Philadelphia. I think anyone who is in the Gayborhood should stop in and visit, it truly is a wonderful place.

I found the William Way Center on an internet search for nonprofits in Philadelphia, emailed them a resume, and was referred to my current supervisor. After that, it was a quick decision, and I started going weekly in February before starting full time at the end of May. For my specific internship I am working under the Senior Programs Coordinator, who organizes a 50-plus gay men’s social group along with Access Services for the John C. Anderson Apartments. The JCA Apartments are around the corner from the Center, and is low income housing for 65-plus LGBTQ people. Even more specifically, the Center was awarded a grant to start a healthy eating program for the residents of JCA, and since my interests and background align with both food access and LGBT rights, the internship is a perfect match. My organization is on the small side, so I also do anything and everything, from marching in Philly’s Pride Parade to folding and cutting pamphlets.

The award winning gardens of the John C. Anderson Apartments, kept up by the residents.

The award winning gardens of the John C. Anderson Apartments, kept up by the residents.

My absolute favorite part of my internship is meeting and hearing the stories of the residents. In all honesty, I had never really considered my queer elders before, and now I realize that that was an oversight. Many of them grew up in deeply homophobic and transphobic communities, lost countless friends to violence, AIDS, and suicide, and the survivors are now being forgotten by their own community. As much as I love the queer community, so much of it idealizes and focuses on youth, and our elders are forgotten. Despite all this, the folks that I have met at John C. Anderson already feel like family to me. Growing up as a little queer kid, I never had queer elders to tell me about our history, the challenges they faced and surpassed, and now I fully believe that all young queer people should make an effort to talk to our elders. I have befriended a founder of the Gay Liberation Front, an incredible trans woman who was in a John Waters movie, and lovely gay couples who have been together for decades. As I am getting to know the residents, I am also learning so much about what it means to love, to have hope for a better future, and what it means to be a part of a community.

Amalia Jaimes-Lukes ’21: Heritage Farm

Name: Amalia Jaimes-Lukes
Class Year: 2021
Major: Sociology
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Internship: Heritage Farm
Job Title: Intern
Location: Philadelphia

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Working at Heritage Farm is my dream internship. As a sociology major, much of my interest lies in making social change and studying what positive impacts people can make to communities.

Last summer, I worked my third summer at a day camp in New York City where I was asked to help start the gardening program for the campers. Along with my supervisor, we helped cultivate a vegetable garden and ran programming for children ages 4 to 13. Growing food was not something I had too much interest in until I began tending to the garden. As the summer went on, growing vegetables and teaching kids about sustainability was all I could think about. I had a growing passion for farming and gardening and a colleague recommended I visit an urban farm in Philadelphia while visiting friends one weekend. I attended the farm’s summer event and I learned all about the incredible community outreach work they do within their neighborhood to address issues of poverty, health, and food deserts. Immediately, I knew that the following summer I wanted to work at an urban farm in Philadelphia that worked within their community to make a change. Beginning in September, I had been researching, emailing, and visiting farms all throughout Philadelphia to learn more about what they do and how they contribute to their community or neighborhood. Through that research, I found Heritage Farm, which blew me away with the programs offered and the great impact they make on participants of Methodist Services and their greater community.

As I shifted my career goals after last summer, I am now looking to focus my sociological concentration in food justice. Through my sociology major I hope to be admitted to Bryn Mawr’s 4+1 program, where I can begin taking Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work classes during my senior year. With a social work degree, I can work at nonprofits like Methodist Services who help give access to resources like affordable housing, access to education, and access to fresh produce. My aspirations has shifted from being a general social worker to doing sustainability and food justice work in urban areas and food deserts because of how passionate I am about the subject.

I felt this internship would give me the opportunity to be fully immersed in the Philadelphia urban farming community, a community I would really love being a part of looking forward to a future career. It would also let me experience the reality of being an urban farmer and help me commit to the pursuit of this career.

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Emily Elmore ’20: Global Fund for Children

Name: Emily Elmore
Class Year: 2020
Major: History
Hometown: Ashland, Ore.

Internship Organization: Global Fund for Children
Job Title: Programs Intern
Location: Washington, D.C.

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What’s happening at your internship?

I am working with the Americas portfolio, providing general team support as well as developing and working on my own research project. I primarily provide research support in planning partner convenings and helping prepare for an in-office advocacy workshop. For the summer, I am researching and developing a strategy for our partner organizations to start incorporating wellbeing practices for youth activists and youth holding positions within organizations.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I wanted to work in a nonprofit that functions on the principle of supporting local voices and community organizations without overshadowing their work, which the Global Fund for Children does through unrestricted funding to grassroots organizations. One of the things that drew me to GFC in particular was the Adolescent Girls and Migration Project, which supports a cohort of 12 grassroots organizations focused on protecting the safety and rights of adolescent migrant girls in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. I was interested in supporting this initiative as well as learning how research skills translate into strategy development.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

One of the most exciting things about this internship is the opportunity I have had to go to events and panels within D.C. to learn about how other organizations and governments are addressing the Global Fund for Children’s focus areas. I mostly attend events discussing migration, as that is the focus of the largest cohort in the Americas portfolio.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

One of the amazing things about working at GFC is that it is a small organization, so everyone is involved and learning about all the departments in the organizational structure. Because of this I have the opportunity to not only work with the programs team but additionally development and communications. As a program intern I was anticipating doing almost entirely research for a specific portfolio; however, with the fluidity of the office I have had the opportunity to learn more broadly about other departments as well.

Zainab Batool ’21: Software Engineer Intern, Fidelity Investments

Name: Zainab Batool
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan

Internship Organization: Fidelity Investments
Job Title: Software Engineer Intern
Location: Merrimack, N.H.

What’s happening at your internship?

At my internship at Fidelity Investments I am working as an Android Platform developer on the mobile team. One of the most interesting aspects of my internship is that I get to not only experience the technical part of a software engineer’s job but also see the other aspects involved in building an application, such as design and research! Since I am working in a financial company it is also interesting to observe the more “fintech” aspects that one would not typically see in a purely tech company.

The cool thing about Fidelity is that I am not limited to the team and group I am working with, but everyone is more than willing to have me observe the workings of multiple different teams. I have been able to observe the various roles one can take on as a software engineer or technology graduate such as mobile or web developer, test engineer or site reliability engineer, among others.

When I initially applied for this internship I wanted to explore the different directions that I could take for the rest of college and then post-graduation. As a potential double physics and computer science major, I had researched for physics last year but wasn’t completely sure if research was something I wanted to do as a career choice and wanted to explore more options. Coding and front-end development where you can see instant results of your efforts is something that gives me that “instant gratification,” fix and luckily I landed a spot as a mobile developer intern. Fidelity developers are primarily web developers so I ended up being extremely lucky to get this role.

Not just the work but my team and group have really welcoming work cultures to encourage a relaxed and collaborative work environment and are leaders within Fidelity in that sense, which has also been really fortunate for me to experience such freedom and support!

Last but not the least, I can say without any hesitation that the other interns at Fidelity that I have befriended this summer are a huge part of the success of this summer. From thinking that living in small ol’ Merrimack would be dull and slow to karaoke-ing, going to NYC or Boston, escape rooms and what not every weekend — who would have thought?! As there is just one week left for my internship to end I am genuinely sad to be leaving “Brian and the boys” who have been such great buddies these three months. I’ll miss them and Fidelity!

Kaia Valentine ’20: Youth Art and Self Empowerment Project

Name: Kaia Valentine
Class Year: 2020
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.

Internship Organization: YASP (Youth Art & Self Empowerment Project)
Job Title: Intern
Location: Chinatown, Philadelphia

My internship has different parts: I’ll be working with incarcerated youth and giving them knowledge about art and poetry. We’ll do art together, and hopefully they will share their experiences with me as I teach them about me and mine. On Tuesdays, I’ll run a hub designed to inform parents and youth
who are moving into the adult system about that process. Then, on Fridays, I will write grants and to local policymakers. Additionally, I’ll do some regular office work like making copies and coffee, I assume.

I applied because I heard about the organization in my Intersectionality and Philosophy class and I felt I had to work there.