Lille van der Zanden ’20: Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Name: Lille van der Zanden
Class Year: 2020
Major: Growth and Structures of Cities
Hometown: Chicago

Internship Organization: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Job Title: Global Cities Intern
Location: Chicago


What’s happening at your internship?

As a global cities intern on the studies team, I have been primarily assisting with ongoing projects. This includes drawing out major themes from workshop notes, structuring briefs, gathering sources for literature reviews, and scavenging for available ridership data online. When I have spare time, I also have been working on my own global cities blogpost to be posted on the Council’s website. In addition to my office work, I had the incredible opportunity to help out at the Council’s annual Pritzker Forum on Global Cities and hear mayors, business leaders, and changemakers from around the world share best practices and visions for the future of cities. I also assisted with a talk on water and sustainability as well as the Council’s young professionals pub quiz night.

Why did you apply for this internship?

When I studied abroad in Berlin last fall and traveled to various cities, I saw how the form and culture of international cities were in constant dialog with one another. This generated an interest in the interaction among global cities and a desire to understand how this dialog could be used as a tool for global change-making. As such, the opportunity to work on a research team at a think tank exploring these exact ideas seemed like a perfect fit. In addition to my interest in the subject matter, I wanted to gain a better understanding of what it was like to work in a think tank and how its outputs impact various decision-makers.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

It has been incredibly rewarding to see how much the skills I have gained from my time at Bryn Mawr and in my major are already paying off and enabling me to make an impact. Everyday, I’m drawing on my critical thinking skills that I developed not only in my Cities courses, but also from many other departments like English and Political Science. The interdisciplinary nature of the Cities major has allowed me to draw from so many different areas and gain comfort with looking at topics from many different angles, which enhances the quality of my work and analysis. Being able to keep up with and participate in discussions with various experts and leaders in my field at this point in my career has been very reassuring and has further strengthened my confidence in my ideas and my voice. To have my input valued and to be able to contribute to this dialog has been a truly empowering experience and has further fueled my desire to be a leader in this field in the future.

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

Through my day-to-day tasks, I have been becoming more comfortable presenting information and resources to various audiences and writing in different formats. This was an important priority for me so that I am able to reach a wide range of audiences from a variety of platforms. In addition, after participating in the Leadership Learning Lab led by the Career & Civic Engagement Center this past spring, I made it a priority to work on my connection skills in the workplace, whether that be in a meeting or at lunch with a colleague. I’ve found great satisfaction in working on this skill, as I have learned so much from the people around me and those relationships keep me smiling and energized throughout the workday.


Alexis Boutchie ’20: MD Anderson Cancer Center

Name: Alexis Boutchie
Class Year: 2020
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hometown: North Lauderdale, Fla.

Internship Organization: MD Anderson Cancer Center
Job Title: Summer Intern
Location: Houston


What’s happening at your internship?

I’m doing research in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. My research specifically focuses on modifying the expression and avidity of a specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that my lab has developed to improve effectiveness and reduce unwanted toxicities involved in using the CAR to treat acute myeloid leukemia.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I’m currently entering the latter half of my junior year at Bryn Mawr and am considering my options for post-college plans. I know that I want to go to medical school, but as a biochemistry and molecular biology major I’ve more recently considered concurrently applying to M.D./Ph.D. programs. I’ve never conducted research, however, and I thought that this internship would be a perfect opportunity to gain experience within a field of research that I’m interested in (cancer) and help me decide whether a Ph.D. would be something that I would realistically enjoy pursuing. My program also includes shadowing opportunities, cancer biology seminars, and talks from different professionals within the field of medicine and I thought that this combination of research and clinical experience made it the perfect fit for me.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

Getting to work on cutting-edge research with brilliant individuals. I enjoy the scientific process, and it’s fascinating to go from reading about a new groundbreaking discovery in research or medicine to not just watching someone continue that research but to be included in conducting it. My mentor’s have been insightful, patient, and resourceful and it’s made learning all the new lab techniques and immunology background much more smooth than expected. Acquiring new data is exciting and meaningful, and knowing what an impact that research could make on someone’s life feels rewarding.

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

I’ve never been to Texas, much less Houston, so getting here alone on day one was definitely nerve wracking. The one thing that has made this transition much smoother is the Bryn Mawr community. I’m living with two other current Bryn Mawr students who are also interning at MD Anderson for the summer and having them with me has made me feel so much more comfortable and at home. We’re also living with a Bryn Mawr alum (who is friends with many other Bryn Mawr alums) and she and they have truly made us feel welcome. It’s wonderful to see and feel how strong, compassionate, and supportive the community is beyond the walls of and time at Bryn Mawr and makes me optimistic that I’ll have that support there for years to come.


Lipi Paladugu ’21: Smashing Graphics Game Studios

Name: Lipi Paladugu
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Edison, N.J.

Internship Organization: Smashing Graphics Game Studios
Job Title: VR/Game Programming Intern
Location: East Brunswick, N.J.

Hey Bryn Mawr! This summer I’ve had the opportunity to work at Smashing Graphics Game Studios in East Brunswick, N.J., as a VR/Game Programming intern.

SGGS is a small company that builds video games and creates comics books. My role in the company was not completely decided before I started. Instead, I got to build my own internship by working closely with my boss. In the end, we decided to use my strengths and interests to initiate a new project that would further the company and my own skills. The core of my project includes creating an interactive app that customers can use to read the company’s comic books. I’ve been able to use coding skills I’ve learned in Bryn Mawr and have gotten a chance to experience the gaming industry.

One of the main reasons I chose this internship was because I wanted a chance to enter the game development field. When I applied, I wasn’t sure how it would work out since I didn’t have prior gaming experience, but I decided there was no harm in trying, and it paid off.

My favorite part of this internship is the fact that I get to work so closely with my boss, who is also the CEO. One of the advantages I’ve had working in this environment is that I always get attention and guidance when I need it. I’ve had a lot of flexibility with developing my internship into the best experience it can be for me. This also allows me to build my network for future internship opportunities because I know that I can always turn to someone with more experience to help me, even with other jobs. The work I do makes me feel rewarded because I know that what I create will be used directly by the company and customers even after I’m gone. In the classroom, I don’t usually get to dedicate time to such large-scale projects, but working toward one goal and on one project has given me invaluable real life and real work experience. I look forward to taking what I learned in this internship back to the classroom!

Kameice Francis ’20: Phuhlisani NPC

Name: Kameice Francis
Class Year: 2020
Major: International Studies and Growth and Structure of Cities
Hometown: St. Thomas, Jamaica

Internship Organization: Phuhlisani NPC
Job Title: Research Intern
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

What’s happening at your internship?

This week I finished profiling researchers for Phuhlisani’s website, Based on a list of of organizations that I was given on my first day, I profiled research institutes and Non-governmental organizations that specialize in rural and urban land issues in South Africa. This was done via a Google Form. I also provided links to full-text research studies that covered different aspects of the land issues including masters and doctoral theses, research reports and policy briefs that were available from the organizations. I have started transferring data from the spreadsheet that I created with organizational profiles to Trello so that the information is accessible to the public until Phuhlisani is able to add it to their website.


Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I am interested in urban and regional planning and this internship has exposed me to a new area of that field. I also had never traveled to South Africa and I was excited to be able to travel to another part of the world. I also got the opportunity to speak to my supervisor before applying and I really enjoyed the conversation and I wanted to learn more about his field of expertise.

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

I have really been enjoying living in another city. It’s been a little colder than I had expected but I have learned to adjust. I have also been able to try a myriad of new foods and visited many new places. I particularly like walking around Cape Town and trying to discover as many places as possible.

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

Nouns: Passion, Adventure, Confusion

Adjectives: Eye-Opening, Frustrating, Heart-Warming

Julia Weakley ’21: The Franklin Institute

Name: Julia Weakley
Class Year: 2021
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Hometown: Rye, N.Y.

Internship Organization: The Franklin Institute
Job Title: Professional Development Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

The Franklin Institute is a science museum in Philadelphia. At The Franklin Institute, I worked with the Professional Development team; they run professional development sessions for educators, administrators, and corporate groups to help advance their learning experiences in the sciences. I had the opportunity to sit in on a few of their programs, such as Master Educator and Understanding the Brain, and found them very interesting. Both programs focused on the brain and how we learn. The information presented made me think about the difference between how information was presented to me in elementary and highs school versus how it is presented to me now in college.
As an intern, I helped the Professional Development team in the organization and management of GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) Science in the Summer™ programming, Professional Development events, and Master Educator programming. I learned many skills involving the organization and management of data through the registration system for GSK Science in the Summer™.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied to work at The Franklin Institute because I was interested in working at an institution that promotes STEM learning. As a STEM major, I appreciated The Franklin Institution for promoting science learning through interactive exhibits. I had visited the museum before my internship and loved the experience. When I saw the internship posting I felt I had to apply and be a part of such an institution. I am really happy that I had the opportunity to work at the Institute; I loved the experience.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of the internship was sitting in on the Understanding the Brain professional development session. In this session, there was a lot of information presented on the brain and how the brain learns. You learn best when a majority of the different parts of the brain are activated. It is a myth that you use only part of the brain. The truth is you use all parts, just not all at once. The session made me think about how I am learning, how I could incorporate my new knowledge about how the brain works into my study practices, and how I can engage all parts of the brain when I learn.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The most rewarding aspect of my internship was watching the program run, and watching the responses the team got from the audience and participants. One of my jobs was to collect data from the evaluations that participants filled out at the end of each session. I enjoyed reading comments about how the information they learned was beneficial, and that the presenter did a really good job, since I know the amount of work that went into preparing for each program.

Jing Lin ’21: Summerbridge Hong Kong

Name: Jing Lin
Class Year: 2021
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Beijing

Internship Organization: Summerbridge Hong Kong
Job Title: Student Teacher
Location: Hong Kong

What’s happening at your internship?

I am working at Summerbridge Hong Kong this summer. The main job for me is to teach secondary school students English. Students may come from underprivileged families, and they are eager to learn more about English.

My typical day starts around 8 a.m, when I, along with the other student teachers, get to the school at which we are teaching. Around 8:30, we great the students from the bus pick-up location. The students are coming from different local schools. They have advanced through the competitive selection process to be part of the Summerbridge.

Then all the teachers and students gather in the Hall to start our day with the All Site Meeting (ASM). During ASM, students and teachers perform a short skit in which we introduce the Word of The Day. Then students go back to their classroom with their first-period teachers. A typical classroom has 8-10 students and one teacher. We have 100 students and 20 teachers this summer at the school I am teaching. Every teacher is responsible for teaching two period in the morning, and there are four period in total in the morning. I am teaching Psychology in Daily Life, which I introduce the concept of experiments, the different stages of sleeping, and some part of cultural psychology. In the afternoon, we have different electives for students to choose. I am teaching Arts and Crafts with another teacher. During the craft class, we built art projects together.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I love teaching and I love children! Also, I am attracted to the model of SB, which is Students-Teaching-Students. All the student teachers are coming from different parts of the world. They are either in college or in high school. As student teachers, we are encouraged to develop our own special courses which we are passionate about.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

During lunch time, I have the opportunity to get to know my students better. During lunch, all the students and teachers gather at the Hall room. I usually go talk to different students every day. During lunch time, my students are also more relaxed, and they are more willing to talk to me about themselves

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

Three adjectives: rewarding, hardworking, enthusiastic
Three nouns: fun, teaching, interaction

I think this internship requires me to put lots of effort in, including developing lesson plans based on my students’ need and interests. It is also rewarding because I enjoy seeing my students having fun in my class. It’s fun to teach at SB surrounded with enthusiastic peers and students.

Joan Ndichu ’21: Grid Alternatives

Name: Joan Ndichu
Class Year: 2021
Major: Economics and Mathematics
Hometown: Nairobi

Internship Organization: Grid Alternatives
Job Title: Outreach team intern
Location: Washington, D.C.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am currently interning at Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit solar panel installer that provides solar at no cost to low-income households. I am currently under the outreach department, where I work with the data collected. I go to client visits where I help them in the application process, explaining to them how the system works and how much they will save after they switch to using solar energy. My colleagues are very friendly, and I am learning so much about how solar panels work and how much energy is saved using solar. I also work with the engineering team, where I have learned about the design and the math involved in coming up and installing the panels.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I have always wanted to work with nonprofits and being an Economics and Mathematics major, Grid Alternatives was the best place for me. Grid works with mostly low-income households in D.C., and hence engages with the community. I am very passionate about community development and reaching out to people living in marginalized communities and helping them invest in the resources they have. Also, being a math major, I love working with engineering-elated work that involve applying the mathematics I have learned and putting it into practice. Grid Alternatives was a combination of both, and thus was the best fit for me, and everyday as I work here and learn more about the organization and its client, I realize how much grid fits my passion and interest.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I found my internship through a summer program I am also doing this summer. The program is called Bridge DC and it involves learning about injustice issues in our communities, mostly the D.C. area. We learn about the people affected by systemic injustices by living around the neighborhood and learning their stories. Afterwards, we get to learn how we can apply our skills to helping develop our communities and building up just systems that provide fair services to all. Hence, it is through the program that I learned about Grid Alternatives.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part will definitely be when I went for an actual solar panel installation and the engineers guided me through the whole process until we finished the installation. I have never been on a roof before, working; it was an amazing experience. It was also nice working with the team and them sharing their past experiences in the work. At the end, we got a chance to interact with the owner of the house, and seeing the smiles on the older couple’s faces after we were finished the installation was more than precious.

Jia Wei ’21: Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games

Name: Jia Wei
Class Year: 2021
Major: Cities and French
Hometown: Beijing, China

Internship Organization: Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
Job Title: Project Assistant
Location: Beijing, China

What’s happening at your internship?

We are preparing for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics!

I am mostly doing translation of the latest version of the Functional Area Operation Plan and assisting project managers doing work related to City Operations.

Why did you apply for this internship?

Beijing is the only city to hold both Summer and Winter Olympics. It is an occasion to be cherished by every Chinese citizen. As for me, I love the feeling of a team working together for a common goal. On the other hand, the functional area of City Operations is also related to what I study, so there was no reason for me to hesitate.

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

Translation is hard. Translating between Chinese and English is even harder. Difference in syntax and cultural background means difference in use of language, so it is necessary to reorganize sentence structures. Sometimes, a word in Chinese has multiple meanings, so I have to think about it and find one that fits the context. It is common that series of verbs are put in a single sentence, so finding ways to express the meaning while maintaining the originality of the text is another hard task.

What is most rewarding about your internship?

The internship itself. The fact that I got the chance to participate in the preparation of a leading international event held in my hometown is so special and still unbelievable.

Jessie Zong ’20: The Quad Manhattan

Name: Jessie Zong
Class Year: 2020
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Arcadia, Calif.

Internship Organization: The Quad Manhattan
Job Title: Psychosocial Intern
Location: Manhattan, N.Y.

What’s happening at your internship?

I am interning at The Quad Manhattan, which is a summer program for twice exceptional children. Twice exceptional means that these children have both exceptionally gifts, but may also have a disability. I am working in a classroom consisted of 5- and 6-year-old children. Many of them have learning, behavioral, or emotional disabilities and the main goal of this summer camp is to tackle some of their lagging skills. Each intern is in charge of tracking the goals of three children. Thus, I have been coming up with different goals I would like each child to tackle over the summer. Throughout the day, we use proactive problem-solving strategies to build on their lagging skills and goals. Additionally, I will be presenting on the children’s progress during their mid-summer parent conferences in the upcoming weeks.

Why did you apply for this internship?

I applied for this internship because I thought this was a great blend my interests: Education and psychology. As someone who is planning on working with children as a profession, this seemed like a great opportunity to not only gain experience working with children but also gain clinical experiences. I also wanted to step out of my comfort zone as I have never worked in a classroom specialized for twice exceptional children.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has definitely been seeing the progress that my campers have been making. Every day, each child is working hard to tackle their lagging skills and I can definitely see the progress they are making; seeing how proud they are of themselves for working hard, makes this job so rewarding. Additionally, it has been wonderful to make connections and relationships with each child in the classroom. It has also been great to connect with other interns and learn about their interests and post-graduation plans, as it gives me more information in regard to what options and opportunities I may have in the future.

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

Living alone in New York City is definitely something I never thought I’d do. I was a little nervous coming into this experience as I will be living in this big city alone. However, it has exceeded my expectations; it has been an amazing experience and joy to explore this crazy new city and meet new people at my internship. This experience has definitely made me more independent and excited for the future as this may be a city where I would like to be after graduation.

Janina Calle ’21: ACLU of Pennsylvania

Name: Janina Calle
Class Year: 2021
Major: International Studies
Hometown: Trenton, N.J.

Internship Organization: ACLU-PA
Job Title: Legal Intake Intern/Immigration Intern
Location: Philadelphia

What’s happening at your internship?

For the past few months I have been able to do both collaborative and meaningful work with community members and the staff at the ACLU of Pennsylvania. My work has consisted of reviewing intake that is sent to us either through letters, voicemails, or e-complaints, as well as working with Vanessa, the immigration fellow. As an intake intern, I have been able to review complaints that have been submitted to us from a plethora of people facing various issues. I have been trained to provide the best referrals for those cases in which we are unable to support. There have been a few complaints that have come my way that have led to further investigation given their high priority in regard to civil issues being violated. With Vanessa, I have done a lot more personal work that involves speaking with predominately Spanish-speaking people to receive their report on what occurred during police or even ICE interactions in the state of Pennsylvania. In addition, this summer a suit has been released against the Pennsylvania State Police for illegally enforcing immigration law, which has given me a glimpse into how the ACLU-PA uses its resources to gather information and ultimately decide which cases to take on. During the press release for the suit against the state police, I was able to travel to Harrisburg to further assist Vanessa and hear some of the clients on the case talk about their experience.

Why did you apply for this internship?

The opportunity to work with the ACLU presented itself through the Career & Civic Engagement Center as one of the organizations they were collaborating with. Given that I was already working with the ACLU-PA during the spring semester through my praxis course with Professor Martin, which focused on promoting change through service, it seemed fitting to continue my work with them. The amazing team I was able to meet and work with during that spring semester, also made it easy for me to choose working with them this summer.

What has been your favorite part of this internship?

My favorite part of this internship has been able to see how different departments within the ACLU-PA office work separately and together at the same time. With such a large national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, I have learned that each affiliate focuses on issues that their state is dealing with, which ultimately allows each office to cater to its community. In addition, because I was able to work with the legal fellow I was able to do work surrounding some cases that involved Spanish-speaking clients who faced some discrimination from a government agency, either a police department, ICE or sometimes both. This specific interaction and work was most impactful for me because I felt like I was working to abet issues that my parents could’ve also been faced with.

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

One of the major skills I was forced to reinforce in my daily work consisted of effectively communicating with not only my supervisors but with other interns as well. During the moments I was doing intake work, it was vital to inform the other interns about whose case I was reviewing, since we were all working under the same database. In addition, I learned to seek out their help when I had a question or was stuck with providing a referral. Without this skill, there would have definitely been double the work to do.